Yet Another Way to Eat Garlic! The Salt Dipping Trick

Garlic is among the most used cooking ingredients. Every household has it and most viand call for it.

However, garlic own taste is very undesirable and I can only eat it when (1) fried to crispiness, the garlic chip and the crunchy crushed garlic in fried peanuts, and (2) soaked in soy sauce and let stand for few weeks or until the garlic surface  is greenish.

And now there is a third way to eat garlic and it involves a very minimal preparation. Just peel off the garlic clove, dip it in salt, and start chewing. It never removes all the repulsive flavor but it is indeed good.

A word of warning. Too much salt is not good for your health. Try eating it plain by gradually reducing the amount of salt dip.

a garlic clove

9 Uses of Salt in Food Preparation

Summarizing what salt can do’s, experience based.

1) First and the foremost, for flavoring purposes, the salty taste. A plain bland tasting rice could be a satisfying meal when sprinkled with right amount of salt. It is among my choices during my childhood years (rice with salt, sugar or coffee).

2) As preservative. Salt solution is forced to egg not to enhance its flavor, but to make its storage life longer. Salty condition is a limiting factor for most spoilage organisms.

3) I was thinking, salt is sprinkled all over the fish to add flavor and unintentionally increase the oil flying power during frying. It turned out the other way. Salt extracts excess water from fish flesh, thus, reducing the tendency of oil to fly during frying. Water is the thing responsible for oil jumping off the pan, not the salt.

4) Make the sour guyabano sweet. I mentioned it several times already. Dipping sour guyabano pulp on rock salt makes it sweet.

5) Counteract to much chilli hotness. These was our previous practice. Add more chilli to vinegar dip until our lips were burning hot. Then add some salt to vinegar when we couldn’t bear it.

6) Extract bitterness from ampalaya. Mashing ampalaya slices with salt removes some bitterness. Thanks to this method. I can eat ampalaya to some extent.

7) Extract astringent taste of puso ng saging. A method similar to ampalaya slices. Mashing banana heart slices with salt and squeezing it after removes astringent taste.

8) Remove coffee bitterness and make it taste better. Many says it works but I couldn’t notice the difference.

9) Remove the repulsive taste of raw garlic. I’ve heard of it recently. I’m going to find out if it is true or not.

A Pinch of Salt Removes Coffee Bitterness and Enchances its Flavor

An interesting tip from Adding a pinch of salt to regular cup of coffee enhances flavor, making more mellow and lessening bitterness.

Several linkedin members have different comments. Specially pointing out about the negative effects of excessive salt intake on health.

A more scientific reasoning. The sodium ion (Na+) reduces bitterness by interfering with the transduction mechanism of taste. It acts without manifesting the salt flavor itself. About 10 to 50 ppm is enough to alter human taste perception. Another tip, without adding salt and sugar, is to drop a slice of apple, but the slice should not be eaten after.

Adding a pinch of salt to cup of coffee is not a new thing to me. It was a tip from an old friend. A salt crystal dropped in a coffee cup will make it better. However, he never told that it also removes bitterness. I should have known that thing after few trials, but my taste buds are not sensitive enough to differentiate flavor differences.

Yet another interesting observation is the effect of salt to guyabano sour variety.

Daing na Sariwa, Tulingan at Galunggong

The usual daing na sariwa is bangus or milkfish. Making galunggong and or tulingan version provides several advantages.

Less fish bones. Milk fish has excellent taste but removing lots of fish bones makes me want to throw it away. More affordable. It is not a price per kilo comparison, it is a per piece instead. Galunggong and tulingan can be bought for a lesser amount of money.

A recipe contributed by her, my better half.

1) Choose the freshest fish available. However, if the real processing logic is followed, choose fish with red eyes, a little soggy, an old stock but with no putrid odor.

2) Remove the entrails. Wash under running water. Slice the fish from head to tail with a sharp knife to imitate the daing appearance.

3) Prepare the spice solution. Mixture of vinegar, black pepper granules, salt, sugar, chili and other spices available. Just like a pickling solution.

4) Soak the fish in pickling solution. Cover. Let stand overnight.

5) Drain well before frying to prevent oil droplet explosion. Or, dry under the sun for eight hours.

daing na tulinganDaing is a salted and dried fish. The sariwa or wet version uses a pickling solution instead. The original version is salty to extremely salty  while the sariwa is sour and spicy.

Reaction of Salt to Unknown Plastic Container

I was going to eat balut. I got pinches of salt and placed it on saucer. Then… It was a coincidence, I placed the open jar near my nose. The smell was disagreeable. Seems the smell of melting plastic.

salt and spoon in plastic jarHere are the other details.

It is a clear plastic jar with a yellow plastic screw cap. It is a brittle packaging. It’s the common packaging of Baguio’s peanut brittle. No recycling symbol embossed on both clear container and cap so its identity is unknown. Maybe it is a recycled plastic not fit for food applications.

We have been using the plastic jar for several years. A disposable plastic spoon is in the jar as permanent tool for getting salt.

I noticed the putrid aroma only after several years. It’s time to get a replacement jar and I will never get a jar of the same type. A glass or a polypropylene jar will do.

This is the first time I encountered salt affecting plastic containers. I tried searching around the web for answers. Never found any though. Maybe salt really reacted to plastic or to disposable plastic spoon alone after several years of contact.

This jar and the plastic jars of popular water sticks have the same appearance and texture, both clear and brittle. The latter has recycling code number 3, PVC. Maybe the first is polyvinyl chloride too. See “Wafer Sticks in PVC container“. If the first is a real PVC then the “chloride” words in both names make sense.

The two common food to container reactions. Metals such as tin and aluminum to acid foods and oily products to polystyrene polymers,”What if Tin Can and Aluminum Can Have No Lacquer Coatings?” and “Migration of Styropor to Food

Preventing Apple Browning Reaction – A Simple Experiment

As soon as apple is cut, its open surface begins an immediate contact with air and turns brown. Every bite made on apple is a cut surface. The first opening is already brown before the next bite is made.

What if you want to serve apples to your visitors? Serving whole apples is fine. Turning brown while biting is of no big deal. However, there is a problem in serving slices. The apples are all brown before the visitors get them. Perhaps no one will get.

There are ways to prevent apple browning. I gonna test few of them.

1) I cut the apples under water. The purpose is to prevent air contact to apple surface. I kept one slice soaked in water for two minutes.
2) I squeezed one calamansi juice in a glass of water. It was enough to make it slightly acidic. I dipped one apple slice for two minutes.
3) I mixed 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a glass of water. It is claimed that saltiness prevents apple browning. I dipped one sliced for two minutes.
4) I dipped another slice in recently boiled water for one minute – more than this is too much.

apple browning experiment

I tapped the slices dry and placed on plate for observation.

From left to right – hot water treatment / blanching, soaked in calamansi / acid solution, dipped in salty water / saline solution and dipped in water.

apple browning experiment after 10 minutes

The affect done by blanching is very noticeable, The flesh turned slightly brown and the peel became pale.  The rest still have slight brown complexion but are still good looking. Hot water treatment is an obvious looser.

Dipping in acid solution gave a slightly acidic taste. The same is true with saline solution, a slightly salty taste. While plain water preserved the natural apple taste.

Cutting apples underwater and soaking for two minutes are enough.