Monday, January 2, 2012

Overthinking

One thing Chileans love to do is use salt on everything.  Anything that goes on the grill, it is salted to the point where you can see the white stuff piling up on top of the meat itself.  I've seen a man sitting on a park bench with an apple in one hand, and a saltshaker in the other.  Before each bite, he would dust up the meat of his apple, and then sink his teeth in. I watched him eat about half the apple this way before my stomach demanded I move along.

I made pasta the other night, and while reading the directions (in Spanish), they recommended I bring a pot of heavily salted water to boil before adding the noodles.  Feeling crazy, I followed their directions.  As I was waiting for the water to boil (not watching it, for obvious reasons), I started thinking about how this would change the makeup of my pasta.  My reasoning went something like this:  adding a substrate like salt would increase the boiling temperature of the water.  Increasing the boiling temperature of the water would cause the water to cook the pasta quicker, thus the noodles would be a little softer after the allotted time of 7 minutes.  Interested to see if my hypothesis was correct, I took a couple noodles out after 6 minutes, and a few at 7 to see if there was any noticible difference in the texture of the noodles.

With my first bite, I thought "This tastes...salty."

It never even crossed my mind that the pasta would taste salty.  Forest: missed for trees.

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