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Facts and fiction about food and cooking, by Peter Aitken
Adding salt to the cooking water keeps greens green
March 30, 2011Posted by on
Nope. You may want the salt for the taste, but it has no effect on the color of the final product. A pinch of baking soda could actually improve color by making the water more alkaline, but because most people have water that is already a wee bit alkaline to begin with, you may not notice a difference.
I’m in class for culinary arts. My teacher has us use salt to blanch greens (makes them brighter was his reason.) are you telling me that the salt is unnecessary?
That’s why it’s a myth! Because lots of people believe it. Adding salt does no harm, and you might want to add salt for taste. Give it a try, you don’t have to believe me.
It’s great to read something that’s both enjaybole and provides pragmatisdc solutions.
Just a comment on adding salt. I can’t prove or disprove it, but the reason I was given was that as the dissolved salt raises the boiling point of the water, the greens will cook quicker, due to the higher temperature of the water. As with a lot of ‘received wisdom’ that makes ‘obvious’ sense, when I think about it, the levels of salt may not be high enough to make a difference. I’ll have a look into it….
Adding salt does increase the boiling point, but only by a tiny amount – certainly not enough to affect the cooking time.