Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Oil Crisis At The Table

Recently, Yvette had the pleasure of dining with some friends. At least she thought they were friends until one of them tried to raise the collective blood pressure of the table.

The waiter had poured olive oil onto a plate and placed a basket of bread on the table. Each person took a piece, tore it into a smaller piece and then dipped it into the oil. Yum. One friend chose to put salt on her bread after she dipped it. We don’t have an issue with that. But, when the salt lover noticed she was the only dipper left or assumed she was, the olive oil plate received a generous donation of sodium.

All is not lost. Yvette was at Harlem’s Red Rooster (We like it a lot.) and sitting at a nearby table, a diner asked her table mates if it was all right for her to add salt to the oil. Yvette still thinks this is tacky. But I’ll cut Mademoiselle Sel some slack, at least she asked.

Friends don’t let friends get high blood pressure. Ask before you sprinkle.


Anonymous said...

Y & Y, I love this etiquette idea. Keep up the good work. I'm proud of you.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the salt post. As a former lover
> of salt who is now successfully dealing with high
> blood pressure, I never judge anyone who uses salt,
> unlike former smokers who feel that they must be on
> the "crusade."
> However, Mme. Sel was way off base on this one. Even
> if she thought everyone had finished dipping into
> the oil well, she didn't know for a fact. Common
> courtesy says to ask before altering what is being
> shared. It's like being in someone's kitchen and
> adding your "thing" to their recipe. I won't call
> Mme. Sel selfish, just ignorant when it comes to
> things like these.
> Aside from high blood pressure, there is something
> else to be learned from not using salt. Within ten
> to 14 days of eliminating all of that extra sodium
> from your diet, you find out what food really tastes
> like. For example, tomatoes taste like tomatoes
> without that covering of salt that numbs the flavor.
> Mind you, if I could go back to pouring a generous
> portion of sodium on my food, I just might, but
> those days are gone.
> Regarding asking if it's OK to add salt to the oil,
> hell no. There is a simple solution to both women's
> desire for salt. Dip the bread in the oil and then
> take the shaker and put as much salt as you want on
> your own personal piece of bread. Everyone is
> satisfied and all are at peace.
> All the best,
> Rich

John S said...

For years now, 20 or more, thoughtful people in the health professions have recognized salt to be what it is, poison. As it is, we eat SO much added salt in our foods we are already overdosed before we know it.
I think I've added salt to a dish only ONCE in the past 20 years. And know what? I haven't missed it for a minute.

TJB said...

Etiquette-wise, I heartily concur that no one should add anything to a communal dish without asking first (and even then, it's a rather tacky thing to do).

However, in defense of salt, I do think that good quality sea salt, used sparingly, brings out the flavor in certain foods. I'm not talking about showering an entire shaker of the commercial junk on your plate; but, for example, just a few sprinkles of coarse sea salt on a ripe tomato is a revelation.

Everything in moderation -- I can't imagine life without salt, fat (butter, oil, lard or otherwise), carbohydrates, or meat. None of these should be consumed in mass quantities, or even every day, but strictly adhering to a spartan diet is the very antithesis of pleasurable living... in my opinion.

Great blog!