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The Art of Flavour Sunday e-magazine


The Magic of Lemon replacing Salt.

Arthur Huxley - 14-06-2022

Lemon has always been a magic essential in the Art of Flavour but never really thought of as a salt replacement.

First, consider the magic. Both lemons and salt work in a similar manner on your tongue with the simple salty and sour taste receptors depending solely on the tongues ions – that is, sodium for salt and hydrogen for acidity. In this case, citrus.

The magic continues. Both saltiness and acidity lead to an increase in salivation making food more mouthwatering. Most desirable.

And given that tasting depends on saliva’s power as a solvent, the presence of saliva on your tongue is necessary for your taste and therefore your brain to recognise flavour.

So, drawing from the above, we can conclude that a dash of acidity, say vinegar, in the recipe or lemon juice or lemon zest at the finish, will go a long way to replace or reduce the need for salt.

And at the same time, freshening and brightening the flavours of food. Even more desireable.

The more you work to incorporate acid in the flavour balance in your recipes, including citrus the more you will see that acid/ lemon could be the magic secret flavour in great dishes. And the perfect salt replacement.

Kitchen Watchpoint When adding your lemon juice or lemon zest it is important to note that the lemon should always be added at the finish of the food preparation - never at the beginning, as with other spices. Added early in the preparation, the lemon will add bitterness.