Real Simple

SPOTLIGHT ON SALT

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In most dishes, the point of salt isn’t to make food salty but to make it more like its best self. “Salt brings out flavor. Chicken tastes more delicious and tomatoes taste more like summer tomatoes. Salt also enhances sweetness and reduces bitterness,” says Jill Santopietr­o, a cooking instructor in New York City. Getting the right balance is key: Too little salt and your food will be flat; too much and it will be unpleasant­ly salty. That’s why profession­al chefs season food throughout cooking, sampling as they go. “Salt, stir, and taste until the dish sings,” Santopietr­o says. “That’s what we mean by ‘salt to taste.’”

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