Truly grateful for all the encouragement.  It was a big internal debate–to blog or not.  The comments make me feel it’s the right thing.

Joel: re cooking and conducting/orchestrating concert hall music.  it’s funny you say that because one of the biggest fans i have of Soul of a Chef is a guy named Tom Morris, former executive director of the Cleveland Orchestra, one of the world’s greats.  In a speech he gives often, he  retells the Keller-Hollandaise anecdote.  Yes, I suspect there are many similarities that you suggest between cooking and the orchestrating of many musical ingredients in a concert, and Tom Morris obviously would agree.

Celeste: there are two curing salts we use in the US: sodium nitrite (which is the default curing salt and which I refer to generically as pink salt) and sodium nitrate, which is only used for dry-cured sausages.  Neither appear to be dangerous when consumed in the quantities we do (though ingested accidentally in quantity, which would be unpleasant since they’re about 94% salt, they can essentially suffocate you, something to be aware of).  For curing bacon and most other meats, use this pink salt from Butcher & Packer (an excellent source, btw, for all your sausage-making needs).

Bob del G: I will definitely write about consomme at some point and will let you know when i’m ready!

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7 Wonderful responses to “Thanks”

  • ruhlman

    fascinating case. i’d always wondered how someone could want enough salt that they could even accidentally poison themselves with sodium nitrite. Nitrite in that high level will cause the oxygen in the blood to bond with the hemogolobin, as i understand it, makeing that oxygen unavailable to the body’s tissues. thus they’re breathing but their body is getting no oxygen. sounds like a ghastly way to go.

  • Elie Nassar

    So glad you are blogging Michael! I’m looking forward to a consomme discussion as well.

    Speaking of curing salts, it always bugged me why both salts are pink, yet only one of them you call “Pink Salt”. I always have to double check to make sure I am using the “right” pink salt. I mean would it have been that difficult to make one pink and the other green…just a thought.

  • ruhlman

    hey, Elie,

    Pink salt should always be considered to mean sodium nitrite which goes by numerous names.

    Sodium nitrate and potassium nitrate should always be referred to as such, and they are only used in one kind of technique, dry-cured sausage.

  • Nathan E. Rodakirk

    thought your comments about Schrambling were rude…
    Folks today are scared to speak their truth…and you gotta go douse the fire with your venom?

    you lost me at “This is your fault, Meg!”

  • ruhlman

    In what way was I rude to Schrambling? MY venom? I was considerably less rude to her, by several factors of ten, than she is to most.

    Also, who exactly is scared to speak the truth?