You may never have heard of Samin Nosrat. It’s easy to miss while you’re looking for the usual entertainment. Also, a show called “Salt Fat Acid Heat”? It sounds like a warning from a CDC hotline.
Nonetheless, while searching the streaming channels for something to watch beyond horror, thrillers, and cookie-cutter British mysteries, I stumbled upon Nosrat’s show, and as soon as I got down to it. connected, I was struck by this wonderful ball of cooking energy.
Of course, his culinary credentials are impeccable. Nosrat is the author of the New York Times bestselling James Beard Award-winning cookbook, “Salt Fat Acid Heat” – and now the host of the Netflix docu series of the same name. But it’s not just her prowess with pots, pans and knives that sets her apart. I’m not normally a fan of cooking shows, but in each of the four episodes of this series directed by Caroline Suh, Nosrat is an extremely warm and funny guide.
You only have to watch her for three minutes to let yourself be drawn into her world. Believe me, it’s not one of those “cook with the stars” things. I hate those. Who cares if Gwyneth Paltrow eats entrails?
Importantly, Nosrat explains that salt, fat, acid, and heat are all good things. We may be wary of them because of how we often abuse them, but that’s no reason to fear them completely.
In the first episode, Nosrat goes to Italy to speak masterfully about the proper use of fat in cooking.
In episode two, on salt, she examines the role of this universal flavor enhancer in Japan and delves into the history of miso. We learn that miso is the savory, earthy, funky fermented ingredient we put in everything from pasta salad to apple pie. In her engaging and sparkling way, Nosrat explains how we might consider going from Morton’s table salt to one of the far superior sea salts around the world.
Episode three is all about acid (“acid balances the flavor,” Nosrat insists), and it takes us, among other places, to Mexico, soon changing our understanding of what constitutes authentic Mexican cuisine.
For the finale, in episode four, she explores the heat (“the element of transformation”), transporting us back to Japan, from the bustling streets of Tokyo to the mountainous countryside in a delightfully filmed hymn to the culinary arts of Japan. country.
It’s hard not to be captivated by Nosrat’s energy, humor, and food knowledge, and there is a lot of great information we collect along the way, including how the salt, fats, acid and heat can all contribute to better health.
After watching just the first episode, I wanted to meet her, eat with her and become her best friend. Wait, you will feel the same.
“Salt Fat Acid Heat” airs on Netflix.
JP Devine de Waterville is a former theater and film actor.