Salted Water for Boiling is easily Epicurious' most commented-on recipe, with 801 responses at last count.
The thread has become a treasure trove of sarcastic comments:
I am frustrated with these "advanced" recipes. Does everyone think we're ALL professional chefs?? I can't tell at what point to add the salt, and what kind of salt? Kosher? Fleur de Sal? Iodized? And then what kind of water? Tap? Distilled? Artesian? How long do I boil it? I am so confused. Please, Epicurious, screen your recipes better.
Don't waste your time on this one. I substituted leftover hot dogs for the salt, and used a combination of maple syrup and salsa instead of water, and it didn't turn out at all!! I'm very disappointed.
As Nicole Richie’s chef, I prepare this on an almost daily basis.
Of course, the funniest (saddest?) thing of all is that, despite the sarcasm, many people have no idea how to salt their water for boiling pasta! They put a pinch of salt in a vat of water and then wonder why their beautiful sauce tastes flat once it's tossed with the underseasoned spaghetti. Would-be satirists, take heed: You really do need 1 tablespoon of salt for every 4 quarts of water. (And I might as well put an end to a particularly insidious piece of pseudoscience while I'm at it: No, salt does not make the water boil faster. It flavors the food, and that's that.)