Foundation Ingredients: Salt and Pepper

Salt and pepper are so ubiquitous and essential to well-seasoned food that it simply seemed superfluous to add them to a top 10 list—but make no mistake, they’re critical pieces of the cooking puzzle.

Salt You add salt when cooking not to make your dish taste salty, but rather to enhance the other flavors (much like how lemons work). Adding salt during cooking provides for better, more even distribution than when it is applied at the dinner table. In baking doughs, salt helps to regulate the leavening process. While there are plenty of salt options on your grocery store shelves, pick out kosher salt first and foremost—it dissolves fast and its flavor disperses quickly.

Pepper  This is a little trickier than salt—because pepper is so spicy, it doesn’t necessarily belong on every meal you make. Invest in a pepper grinder and crack black pepper on dishes in which you want a little spice, such as spaghetti sauce or as part of a marinade or rub for red meat.


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