Don’t buy the salty food…

The Guardian reports today that consumers are been asked to stop buying excessively salty ready meals.

Shoppers are today urged to boycott an unhealthy “hit list” of supermarket ready meals amid claims that they undermine the progress made by most manufacturers in reducing the average salt content of convenience foods.

It can be quite amazing, well more like scary, how much salt can be found in some ready meals. Often as much (if not more) than the recommended daily amount of salt, and then some people add more salt!

salt

For me personally I try and avoid salt for health reasons, but now much prefer the natural flavours of food, herbs and spices and I don’t need the taste of salt. I certainly don’t consider salt to be a natural flavour enhancer.

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Sea Bass Recipe

The Guardian has published another of Hugh’s recipes, sea bass baked in a salt crust.

This is one recipe I won’t follow due to the amount of salt involved though I know a salt crust is more a cooking process then a seasoning process, having done this in the past (with a chicken), the end result is still quite salty.

How much salt?

Blinding obvious comes to mind when I read on the BBC about the CASH (Consensus Action on Salt and Health) report on salt in fast food.

The daily recommended intake of salt for an adult is just 6g.

According to the Cash survey, a family of four sharing a Pizza Hut meal deal – consisting of one Cheesy Bites Meat Feast, one medium Super Supreme, a portion of garlic bread, a portion of potato wedges, chicken wings, and a cheesecake dessert – could eat 12.3g of salt each.

Most fast food “meals” contain about the daily recommended amount of salt. That’s a lot of salt, and remember some people then add extra salt to their salted food as well.

salt

Most people eat way too much salt, it’s not difficult to cut down, but people forget that herbs and spices can add a huge amount of flavour to a dish without needing to resort to salt.

However it can be difficult if you are going out to eat. It’s surprising how many chefs think that just because they haven’t added salt it’s not salty. I have been offered as salt-free dishes, a salad with olives, cured loin of pork (like gammon) and even ham sandwiches.

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I can’t believe it’s salted butter…

For many years now I have been avoiding salt, I don’t add salt when cooking, I don’t add salt to my food when eating and where possible I avoid foods with a high salt content and where I can I will purchase the unsalted variety.

So when it comes to spread, virtually all margarines (and especially low fat spreads) are out of the question due to the salt content, so I usually go for unsalted butter. I realise ithas quite a high fat content, but I just use less!

ButterMy usual brand is unsalted President butter, I have tried other brands and unfortunately the only other brand I liked was Rachel’s unsalted organic butter, but I can’t find that locally. All the other unsalted organic butters (own brand included) seem to be made by Yeo Valley and I didn’t like it.

So imagine my annoyance when I went to purchase some butter from my local Tesco when I found that they had stopped selling President unsalted, but had started selling salted President butter instead!

Why?

Why?

I am annoyed, looks like back to Morrisons or Sainsbury to get my butter.

Café Rouge – too salty even it was by the sea…

I really like Café Rouge, I have had nice meals there in Brighton and Bath, so when I was in Cardiff recently I stopped to get a coffee and a snack.

I ordered a baguette with fries and a coffee.

Well I was disappointed, the baguette sandwich was fine and what I was expecting, however the fries were so very salty. I have never understood why some places insist on salting their fries (or chips) before serving them to the customer. Are people getting so lazy now that even if they want salt on their fries they couldn’t be bothered to do it themselves and let the restaurant or café do it for them. Even so in this instance there seemed to be a about three days of your recommended daily allowance on a pathetically small portion of fries in Café Rouge. I had to send them back, and though the waitress seemed to indicate that was how they came, I did manage to get unsalted fries. I got the impression that the fries I had before *may* have been secondhand or from the bottom of a badly salted batch.

I don’t like a lot of salt on my food (I never add it myself to my food or my cooking) so when I get something which is heavily salted in a restaurant I can’t eat it. Sometimes I remember to ask, but usually I forget.

So apart from the very very salty fries, what else did I not like about Café Rouge in Cardiff, well, the sausage in my baguette was overcooked and slightly burnt in places, I am guess they meant chargrilled, but it was more charred than grilled.

Another thing, the service was very very intrusive. I really wanted to be left alone to enjoy my meal, but the waitress kept coming up to me to see if I wanted this, or wanted that, or was it okay, etc… I had only just put my fork down on my empty plate and she was there ready to take it away.

Please give me a little time…

Also it took ages for my order to arrive in the first place (so I did get my time then, but she was always there…). It wasn’t as though the place was really busy, six of us all together I think, and the others were either about to leave or had their food on their table. There were about six waiting staff, there may have been more, but I think they needed more staff in the kitchens.

Overall I was disappointed with the food and the service, I know Café Rouge is a chain, but in this case the Cardiff branch was a real disappointment. I will probably go to the one in Bath again, but Cardiff, well there are plenty of other places to eat in the vicinity and the tapas place looked interesting.