It's quite normal to hanker for salt

CHRIS FORTUNE
Last updated 15:23 20/12/2012

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Lust is the craving for salt of a man who is dying of thirst.

Frederick Buechner (US author, b1926)

Having made the trip past Lake Grassmere over a dozen times in the last couple of months, my brain has wondered how and what makes salt such an everyday table necessity.

I tried to not put salt in my cooking at home and even the kids have said that they want their food seasoned while cooking. What is it about this white substance that draws us all to it, that makes us crave it but can actually do us harm if we have to much of it?

Salt, or what is chemically known as sodium chloride, is essential for life in all animals as it regulates the water content of our bodies and is used for electrical signalling in the nervous system. This could explain the twitching every time I pass by Lake Grassmere!

It is recommended that you have no more than 6g of salt per day which is the same as eating a heaped teaspoon. Never, never I hear you say . . . but the majority of processed food is high in sodium or salt. In fact, over 70 per cent of salt intake comes from processed foods and not from the salt shaker on the table. Bread, cereals, pancake batters, tomato sauce, V8 vegetable juice, cake mixes and peanut butter all contain high levels of sodium, so it is all about finding out the right information.

I like salt, I like the taste of it and I like other strong flavours such as bitterness, tartness and acid that are associated with salt. The key is that everybody has different tastes and health needs.

Yes, this is the basis of my new year resolution - back to basics, learning to learn again and not just accepting everything that is put on the table.

As for sprinkling salt on the dinner time meals the choice is easy - what would you rather be using - salt water from the English and French Channels or salt water from the Marlborough region? I rest my case.

SUMMER FRITTATA

100g Florence fennel or asparagus, chopped into bite-sized pieces

150g frozen or fresh peas

100g potatoes pre-cooked and diced

1 bunch of spring onions, thinly sliced

8 large free range eggs

2 Tbsp milk

2Tbsp chopped parsley

2 Tbsp chopped chives

1 Tbsp Marlborough olive oil Cook the asparagus and peas in a saucepan of boiling salted water for just 1 minute. Drain well and refresh under running cold water.

Beat the eggs with the milk then stir in the drained cooked vegetables and the chopped herbs.

Heat the oil in a frying pan. Pour in the egg mixture and cook over a medium heat for 3-4 min or until the eggs are starting to set.

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Place the frittata into a warm oven or under the grill and cook for a further 2-3 minutes or until the frittata is brown on top and set.

Serve with salad greens and a good sprinkle of Marlborough flaky salt (to taste, of course.)

- The Marlborough Express

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