Austrians love salt… but not in butter

salted butterI am not a big salt eater. I grew up on less salt partly due to the fact that high blood pressure is in our family, and salt is one thing that exacerbates this. I remember cooking with my mum as a kid, and whenever I read out the salt requirements for a recipe, she would wave it away and tell me it wasn’t necessary. Hence, my taste buds have been conditioned to not require as much salt as the average person. And I was fine with that.

And then I came to Austria.

And I was as-salted (pun intended).

Still, despite my low salt intolerance, it seems it’s not just me saying that Austrian cooking is salty. My poor husband had to adapt by adding salt to almost everything I cooked, because to him my dishes were tasteless.

When I was growing up I did have a couple of aha moments when it came to salt addition. For example, I remember tasting peanut butter at a friend’s house one day and realizing I actually liked it. Turns out the low salt/sugar variety in our cupboard was the problem. Same with mashed potatoes. Adding a generous dollop of salt to mashed potatoes makes a huge difference.

And another thing that I really believe requires salt is… butter.

Which seems to be the one thing that Austrians don’t care to put salt in.

Hubby and I have come to a certain compromise when it comes to salt in our household. We do buy the butter with salt (and he loves it, and sometimes when Austrians come by they also get excited). I do add salt to some of my cooking now, but only in small quantities, and hubby has subsequently reduced the amount that he adds. The thing is, since I am essentially healthier by eating less salt, I don’t see any point in conditioning myself to needing more.

So the salt shaker lives firmly on the table… for when something just needs that extra kick.




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