The Amazing Science Of Salt

So many things about cooking seem to involve science. The way ingredients react with each other or how they change under different circumstances is fascinating. It makes me wish that I had paid more attention to science when I was in school.

Most people know that salt is a mineral essential to life. It’s also one of the basic human tastes. As one of the oldest forms of food seasoning, it is also the oldest method of food preservation, dating back 8000 years. Anything from pickled vegetables and fruit to salt cured meats. And even though salt has its health risks from overconsumption such a cardiovascular diseases, it still plays an important role in good health with our electrolytes and helping balance the amount of fluids in healthy organs.

So back to the science side of salt and food preservation. Most of us have enjoyed pickles in one form or another. And don’t forget about salt cured meats, like bacon, ham, or jerky. While salt may be present in most foods, it is only present in minute amounts in fruits, vegetables, and meats. This is where salt preservation comes in handy, particularly from a time when electricity and refrigeration didn’t exist. The salt acts as a food dehydrator and inhibits the growth of many types of bacteria.

A few months ago I stumbled across a recipe for salt cured eggs. It was one of those things that piqued my curiosity but was on my list of things that I would try later. A couple of weeks ago when I had an over abundance of egg yolks I remembered the salt cured eggs and decided to try it out for curiosity sake. Also it makes a fun science project for kids!!!

The process is very simple. And the end result is delicious. The salt cured egg yolks have a rich velvety texture that are amazing grated over pasta or salad or whatever you want to put them on. I highly recommend this ♥️

Salt Cured Eggs

4 large egg yolks

1 3/4 cups kosher salt

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

Non stick spray

In a medium bowl, combine the salt and sugar. Spread half of the contents in a small baking dish (approximately 8×6). Using the back of a spoon make 4, evenly spaced indentations in the salt mixture. Gently place a raw egg yolk in each depression. Carefully sprinkle the remaining salt mix over top of the yolks, making sure they are completely covered. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 days. Gently brush the salt off of each egg and run under cool running water to remove the remaining salt. The yolk will resemble a gummy-like texture. Then gently pat dry with a paper towel. Preheat your oven to 150 degrees F. Coat a wire rack with the vegetable oil spray and set it on top of a baking sheet. Bake for 1½ to 2 hours. Let cool and then grate over whatever you like. If your oven doesn’t go as low as 150 degrees F, simply allow the yolks to dry out in an unheated oven for 2 days. Enjoy! Salt cured eggs will keep for one month refrigerated in a tightly covered container.

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