Eating and cooking are two sides of the same coin. Everyone knows how much effort it can take to make a great meal. But even among people who can provide a sizzlin’ culinary delight, knowledge about culinary science can be scarce.
That’s where the new Netflix series called Salt, Fat, Acid, and Heat comes in. In Salt, Fat, Acid, and Heat, you’ll get a fantastic introduction to culinary science and a bevy of cultural experiences at the same time with the help of the master chef, Samin Nosrat.
With Nosrat’s cheerful yet masterly tutelage, Salt, Fat, Acid, and Heat is poised to reshape the entire landscape of cooking shows thanks to its high entertainment value.
In this article, we’ll review Salt, Fat, Acid, and Heat so that you’ll know whether it’s a show which you’d appreciate or whether it’s a show better left to foodies.
Cooking And Travelling Has Never Looked So Good
The value proposition for Salt, Fat, Acid, and Heat is that you’ll get to learn the techniques and the secrets used by master chefs like Nosrat without having to go to culinary school. At the same time, the show follows Nosrat through her travels.
Nibbling on foreign delicacies is one of the best ways to learn about a foreign culture. With Nosrat’s gentle guidance, you’ll go along on a culinary and educational journey through exotic locales, not to mention countless kitchens in familiar places.
These detours out of the kitchen and into the outside world are a great break from an intense session of Nosrat’s signature method of cooking by careful application of chemistry.
Thanks to Nosrat’s approachable and down to earth communication style, you’ll get your simple questions about new locales or foods answered.
In the meantime, you’ll probably learn a bit more than you bargained for thanks to Nosrat’s recounting of her notable mistakes and tribulations. This is more than a cooking show with a splash of travelling. It’s a gonzo-journalism dive into kitchen chemistry and a new destination.
You’ll feel like you’re walking right behind Nosrat as she walks through beautiful foreign streets, discussing her affection for the local cuisine.
Who is this show for?
If you love cooking, travelling, eating, or joking around while someone else does any of those things, Salt, Fat, Acid, and Heat will be right up your alley.
If you’ve ever had a crazy kitchen idea which you thought was a hack that was doomed to fail, this show is also for you. Each episode has a few interesting cooking techniques which may appear to be very outlandish at first glance.
Samin Nosrat’s frank discussion of her experiments and notable flubs will help you to understand that cooking is a fun process that doesn’t need to be a high-stress endeavor.
But, if you prefer a show that is focused on travel rather than cooking, you may find yourself wishing for more.
Meet The Master Of The Four Cooking Elements
Samin Nosrat wasn’t always a master chef par excellence. A large part of her cooking know-how is the result of making mistakes and trying to understand why her mistakes had the negative impact on her food that they did.
As a host, Nosrat’s infectious laughter and casual rotation around the kitchen make the prospect of cooking a delicious meal very relatable. In other words, Nosrat destroys the Gordon Ramsey-esque picture of a master chef as a stern, angry, and omnipotent force in the kitchen.
Instead, Nosrat’s personality makes her easier to learn from. In each of her lessons, Nosrat provides the viewer with guidelines intended for cooks of all skill levels.
If you’re starting to cook for the first time, Nosrat singles out the right recipes for you to start with and explains what to watch out for. On the other hand, she’ll also provide a few options for more experienced cooks in the audience to up the ante using a basic dish as the foundation.
Why the culinary science matters
Once you know the elemental principles of culinary science, you’ll know how to implement them in your kitchen without any outside help. That’s why the entire focus of Salt, Fat, Acid, and Heat is to teach you how to use each of the elements.
But, before you can fully appreciate how the four elements can change your cooking for the better, Nosrat is keen to teach you how to observe your food-in-progress using:
Once you have a handle on how to use your senses to gain information about how your food is progressing during the cooking process, Nosrat elaborates on the skills necessary to combine the four cooking elements into one cohesive package.
Best of all, Nosrat keeps it simple. She explains the way that fat can form emulsions and acids can cause structural changes. She also explains how heat impacts different dimensions of given pieces of food.
Most importantly, you’ll understand how to incorporate foods which are rich in salt, fat, or acid so that the flavor profile of the dish is exactly what you want. You’ll never look at a caper or an olive in the same way ever again.
Learn from the best
Nosrat’s approach to cooking is exuberant and forgiving. You won’t suffer from any illusions about the need for perfection in the kitchen.
Nosrat explains enough to keep the show engaging and provides deep commentary while avoiding becoming an information dump of the contents of her book that the show is based on.
Nosrat is an excellent teacher because she will teach you how to:
- Troubleshoot issues in the kitchen
- Get new ideas about how to combine your favorite ingredients
- Create delicious experiments that don’t break the bank
Nosrat is also rich in cooking hacks which help you to recycle ingredients and get the most out of every item in the kitchen. Rather than giving viewers a look inside a perfectly-run professional kitchen, Nosrat shows realistic cooking sessions.
Realistic for a cook of her skill level, at least. Many of Nosrat’s recipes seem far simpler than they are in reality as a result of Nosrat’s lighthearted walkthrough during the cooking process.
It’s entirely conceivable that what looks effortless and fun for Nosrat could become your kitchen’s quagmire. In her characteristically chipper and friendly demeanor, Nosrat is frank about her struggles nonetheless—and you’ll appreciate her honesty.
Samin Nosrat Provides A Feast For Your Senses
Above and beyond other cooking shows, Nosrat’s narration of her work in the kitchen is phenomenal to observe. You can practically feel the weight of the pan and the heat of the oven or the burner.
Most importantly, the show demonstrates the visual and aural beauty of cooking.
Cooking as a visual experience
The best part of Salt, Fat, Acid, and Heat are the stunning visuals of food in the process of becoming a toothsome dinner.
Every camera shot captures the art of cooking in high resolution. You’ll have a front row seat to every flourish of the frying pan. Whenever the stir fry gets a flip, you’ll get a gratuitous glance at the life of food before it hits the table.
Whenever Nosrat aims to cook a specific food item to a certain aesthetic, she ensures that the viewer knows exactly which visual features to look for when they’re assessing their efforts in the kitchen.
Sizzlin’ aural delights
There’s no sound as wonderful as the crisp popping of a slab of meat hitting the oil-soaked pre-heated frying pan. In Nosrat’s show, you’ll get to hear every sprinkle of salt, every sizzle of fat, and every gurgle in the pots of boiling water.
You’ll enjoy the show the most with a great sound system in a quiet room. But, if you need to watch the show while you’re cooking in the kitchen yourself, you probably won’t miss the additional aural experience.
Nosrat’s commentary is also very pleasant thanks to her professorial yet relatable tone and demeanor.
But what about taste?
You can’t watch a cooking show without your mouth starting to water. The downside is that you can’t eat whatever Nosrat cooks up, but that’s true of all other cooking shows too.
The show isn’t designed as a cook-along. It’s intended to teach you the basics that you can then use in your cooking experiments. So, you may want to schedule a cooking session for after you wrap up your binge-watching.
The Verdict On Salt, Fat, Acid, and Heat
Salt, Fat, Acid, and Heat is one of the best new series on Netflix on account of its:
- Great visuals and sounds
- Free-spirited approach to foreign cultures
- Easy-going introduction to culinary science
This means that the show is approachable, fun, and educational. In fact, the show might redefine the cooking show genre on account of its lighthearted and deep experience.
While you won’t become a professional chef by watching Salt, Fat, Acid, and Heat, you’ll learn a thing or two that you can use with practically every meal that you make.
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