Friday, October 29, 2010

Salty Tooth

All this Halloween talk has made me realize something I’ve probably known for a while. There are sweets I like. I mentioned Wednesday that I liked Mounds’ bars. I also like caramels, lemon meringue pie, crystallized ginger and dates. My mother used to give me Teuschers’ champagne truffles while I sat when she had her hair done and I still like those. If forced to choose between any of these treats and say delicious cheese or a French fry, the sweets will lose. I googled “salty tooth” and found a lot of information on various dental procedures and salt water rinsing. While that expression may not be legit, I know I’m not alone. At Foodtrainers, all of us are more salty than sweet. And so I offer some of our favorite “salty tooth” foods.
(photo above is from India, these are salt gatherers and photo take my the mother who bribed her child with champagne truffles)


My friend, chef Julie Negrin had a great blog post about popping popcorn in a pot and it changed my life. You put a little oil in a pot, add your kernels and cover the pot leaving a little room for air to escape. When the popping stops a little Kosher salt or a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. Salty and crunchy.

Cerignola olives
Olives have to be one of the great salty foods and these are the king of olives. These large green olives have a firm flesh and amazing flavor. They are 3-4 times the size of a typical olive and fantastic for parties or snacks. In NYC, I get them at Citarella market.

Applegate Sunday bacon What’s salt without bacon? My kids love bacon but the nitrites and nastiness of bacon worried me a bit. I was happy to discover this Applegate product. Two slices are 60 calories and 290 mg of sodium (a serving of canned soup has 500). It’s gluten free and really good.

Marcona almonds
I referred to the Cerignolas as the king of olives and just read these almonds described as the “Queen of almonds.” What a great couple they would be. This “queen” hails from Spain. The almonds derive their saltiness from sea salt and there’s olive oil involved too. Add these to a salad or simply pop them in your mouth.

Nori snacks

I love nori (the black seaweed used for sushi) and often use it as a sandwich wrapper. A client brought me these snacks and they’re delicately salty and very low in calories. I could see these used in soups or one their own.

I wrote about McClures  before and have jars of their pickles, bloody mary mix and relish in my pantry at all times. They would go in my salty hall of fame but they might have another pickle with them. I love NY Deli Pickles Horseradish Kosher Pickles . Ricks picks are pretty darn good too.

As far as my fellow Foodtrainers, Melissa loves salted edamame and crumbled feta cheese and Lisa likes avocados with kosher salt. None of us are advocating salt up the wazoo. The funny thing is many of these foods are far lower in sodium than processed foods. One still needs to exercise caution. Too much salt isn’t good but a little sure is.
Do you have a sweet tooth or a salty tooth? What are your favorite salty foods?


  1. At my house we make popcorn on the stove top. After its all said and done I drizzle some avocado oil on it with a sprinkle of some sea salt and brewers yeast. Delicious!

  2. Alissa:
    Yeast is such a good topping, I use that on kale chips, a great salt tooth item.

  3. At my house, salty snacks always win out over sweet snacks. My favorite "salty tooth" option is to spinkle sea salt in a small dish of good quality olive oil, rosemary and a slice of garlic for a yummy bread dip.

    Alissa and Lauren - yeast on kale chips, great idea!

  4. Hi Lauren,
    What is your recommendation for salt intake/day? I've read that the American Heart Association recommends no more than 6 grams/day, but that seems like a lot!

  5. Those sound delicious! But I still may have difficulty getting over the sweet stuff. The dentist did advise me to try some other food that might clear up the addiction, but too much salt may be bad too.