Can't we just agree you're both wrong?
But... One of us is more wrong than the other!
Salt doesn't bring out the flavor in any food because there is no such thing.
There's a few thousand food industry experts who would disagree with that. Strongly.
Salt tastes like salt. Humans evolved to enjoy the salt due to its previous rarity. From a flavor perspective there isn't anything wrong with adding as much salt as you enjoy to the food after it is cooked.
Yes. Salt tastes like salt. If you eat direct granules of it. It can't taste like anything else in that form. Hence my comments about what you're actually tasting when you just sprinkle salt on the surface of finished foods at the table. When it's cooked into food though, it will taste different depending on the other ingredients in the food.
I'm also not aware of salt chemically reacting in any significant fashion with any food outside of the sixth grade salt and vinegar penny cleaning experiments.
There's a word for not being aware of something
. Why would you assume a simple chemical like salt wouldn't react chemically to other things
? That's kinda odd.
Linked Article wrote:
To interact with our taste receptors, salts first have to split back – or dissociate – into their ions. This requires a solution, such as saliva or water. So if you stick your tongue out until it dries and put salt on it, you won't taste the saltiness.
is a chemical reaction. And that's just what happens when you put it on your tongue. What do you suppose is happening when you put it in a soup and apply heat? Same deal. Same deal when mixed into your meatloaf, sauce, or whatever.
More info on flavor enhancement:
Linked Article wrote:
Salt is also a flavour enhancer. Add a little salt and almost everything tastes better. For example, adding salt to chicken soup doesn't just make it saltier, it makes it taste thicker, more balanced and more "chickeny". Salt does this in a number of ways.
Salt suppresses the bad flavours in food, allowing the more pleasant ones to dominate. When researchers mixed bitter and sweet solutions together in a taste test, adding salt made the mixture taste sweeter. But in the sweet solution on its own, adding salt didn't improve the flavour as much.
Many vitamins and antioxidants taste bitter. Adding salt to foods that naturally contain, or are fortified, with these bitter compounds make them taste better. That's why we often add salt to our green veggies.
Salt also reduces the amount of unbound water, known as the "water activity". This leads to a relative increase in the concentration of the other flavour components, improving the aroma, flavour and "thickness" of foods.
This can improve flavour in low fat or sugar-reduced versions of foods. So check your nutritional panels; you might be trading excess kilojoules for excess salt, which is not necessarily healthier.
So basically exactly what I've been talking about all along. This is seriously like the first relevant article that came up with a simple google search, so it's not like this is hidden secrete knowledge or anything. I already knew this. Most people who learn how to cook beyond the basics know this. I'm not making some absurd claim here, but just repeating what is pretty commonly known.
Oh. And the next section of the article details pretty much the same stuff I've been saying about how over salting can lead you to acclimate to the higher salt flavor, leading to more salt consumption than may be healthy. Which leads directly to the issue of people applying table salt to their food because they started doing so as a child (usually) copying mom and dad, have acquired a taste for salt on their food, and now think that's what food should taste like, so they keep doing it.
I'll repeat my earlier statement way back at the beginning of all of this. I'm not the salt police. If you want to shake salt onto your food at the table, that's your choice. I happen to think it's something people should get out of the habit of doing, and perhaps avoid passing that habit on to their children as well. It's one of those things that if you stop doing it, your taste buds will adapt, and over time you wont miss the salt flavor. And you'll be healthier as a result.
Since applying salt to the finished food creates far more "salt flavor" than applying it during cooking (which shouldn't make the food taste salty at all actually), and it's the flavor of salt that we're adapting to here, you really have to knock off doing that in order to achieve results. Again though, that's up to each individual. We all have our bad habits that we know aren't good for us, but that we enjoy. This is no different.