Posted by BE on September 29th, 2010
I’m Irish. The Irish are great salt-eaters. We also like fat. Our favourite dish, the ‘Ulster Fry’, often served for breakfast, dinner and tea – breakfast, lunch and dinner for your toffee-nosed English – consists of bacon (fried or grilled), eggs (fried) and potato or soda bread (fried). A mouth-watering combination of fat, salt and carbohydrate. And, to be sure to be sure, the whole doused with more salt.
According to nutritionists, this is a highly unhealthy and potentially fatal diet. There are two reasons for ignoring these warnings. First, there can be few occupations so discredited as that of the nutritionist. Can you think of any other group of ‘experts’ whose advice today will be precisely the opposite of their advice yesterday and their advice tomorrow? And second, had the Irish diet been so unhealthy, the race would have died out decades and even centuries ago, when in fact we have populated the globe with our offspring of saints, scholars and American presidents.
If there is a problem with salt, it is not that it hardens the arteries, my own arteries being as pliant as the bottom of a new-born babe, but that owners of cafes and restaurants are involved with nutritionists in a puritan conspiracy to prevent diners like myself from adding piquancy to their otherwise bland and tasteless meals.
This is achieved in one of three ways: by proffering small dishes of rock-salt which is both unhygienic and impossible to sprinkle; by providing ceramic salt shakers with holes so small the tiniest known particle of matter could not pass through; or by having shakers with screw-on metal tops, whose microscopic apertures are so caked with damp salt and rice particles that nothing at all comes out. Read the rest of this entry »