Dieser Beitrag enthält Werbung – advertising.
I came across a mini-series on Netflix recently:
„Salt. Fat. Acid. Heat.“ resp. „Salz. Fett. Säure. Hitze.“
It’s 4 basics – so 4 episodes featuring Samin Nosrat & her family & friends & cooking.
Who is Samin Nosrat? She’s a professional chef having published a cookbook about… what? Yes – how to use salt, fat, acid & heat. The series is based on her book*:
For the record:
I didn’t buy the book – neither the English original nor the German translation. Furthermore I didn’t read the book except the usual excerpt you get by amazon resp. iBooks.
So I never laid my hands on the book.
Therefore this isn’t a book review. I simply watched TV.
(This doesn’t imply that I won’t buy the book sooner or later… whenever.)
Samin Nosrat likes to travel & she takes us for each of the basics to another country w/ its special products:
- Salt – Japan (featuring especially soy sauce)
- Fat – Italy (featuring especially olive oil)
- Acid – Mexico (featuring especially sour & sweet citrus fruit)
- Heat – California (featuring especially meat).
During her travels we learn about Samin Nosrat & her preferences, about some of the countries’ special food, about how to cook w/ salt, fat, acid, heat… – I think you know what I mean.
Note: it is no cookery show!
At the end we learn about delicious food, joyful get-togethers at large tables loaded w/ food – and how easy it is to do so. I admit that I was really motivated to start at once… for whatever to cook in order to catch the spirit of the oeuvre.
When we are talking about salt, fat, acid & heat these aren’t really the highlights of modern cuisine:
- For decades salt was stigmatized to enhance the risks of heart diseases, rising blood pressure etc. – in short it was called „bad“.
- At least since the 80s we are permanently on weight control programs in order to lose weight or stay as we think we should be according to BMI tables etc. Fat was the natural enemy who was attacked w/ low-fat resp. no-fat products all over the food store. Therefore fat was also „bad“.
- Does anybody like acid? Any fruit acid? Only when there is a lot of sugar or honey to compensate… The classic vinaigrette is only fine w/ a load of oil & mustard to compensate… So also acid is more „bad“ than fine.
- Heat is generally old-fashioned. When roaming food blogs & Instagram nowadays there are more fresh Buddha bowls, salads, mixed fruit & vegetables platters than a real roast or a BBQ steak.
For the record:
I didn’t mention the new enemy: sugar (not relevant for Samin Nosrat!).
So what Samin Nosrat is writing about doesn’t seem fashionable – nevertheless her book seems to be a great success. And when thinking about this TV mini series I can grasp what’s behind all the hype.
In some way Samin Nosrat reminds me of the young „Naked Chef“ (aka Jamie Oliver). It’s the overwhelming fun when cooking & eating. It’s the self-imposed restriction to simple meals, to spontaneous cooking out of a leisurely market shopping stroll combined w/ the supplies in the pantry.
In a certain way Samin Nosrat brings us back down-to-earth & tries to teach us how to cook w/ the bare essentials & how to use salt, fat, acid & heat to bring out the full flavors & to refine anything. It’s something like „back to the basics“, don’t make a fuss about exotic resp. outstanding ingredients…
For the record:
I watched the preparation of a delicious cut of beef on an open fire: it was amazing when served…, however, I doubt that there are so many kitchens w/ an open fireplace.
I watched a walk over a Mexican farmers market w/ overwhelming citrus specialities & chili, chili, chili…, however, I doubt that a Northern European will find anything like that in the area.
Stop: I don’t want to discourage you, but you should enjoy the series as it is – a TV show.
Start watching… & enjoy & feel fine afterwards!