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These are infinity times better with salt. [Photograph: Robyn Lee]

As Michael Natkin, our Seriously Meatless blogger, points out over on his blog Herbivoracious, salt is what adds boom, bang, zang, pop to your food. It's "the most basic taste enhancer" and even just a few pinches will make the simplest scrambled eggs sing. "Good cooks salt food as they go, and taste frequently." Natkin breaks down the process of salting, paying special attention to the big-flaked finishing salts. "It can be more exciting to taste the individual crystal."

It's easy to just start shaking the white flecks all over your food like maracas without thinking about the timing in the cooking process. Definitely give Natkin's piece a read, which is part of a mini Herbivoracious series on fundamental elements. Next up: acid, fat, and crunch.

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