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Jun 29, 2007 03:12 PM

Fruit + Salt = ?

I once dated someone who always sprinkled salt on fresh fruit -- everything from pineapples to melons to apples to even oranges.

The theory was that it brought out, or enhanced, the natural sweetness of the fruit.

For me, tried it once, and never again shall the two meet.

Do you do this? And, if so, why??? Is it an acquired taste?

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  1. Tons of my asian friends as well as some of my spanish friends do this. I prefer fresh fruit plain, but am not opposed to a little bit of salt.

    1 Reply
    1. re: justagthing

      My brother told me that salt on grapefruit reduces the acidity and makes it taste sweeter. He was right. Most dessert recipes use a little salt to bring out the flavors. There is a great book on salt called SALT: A WORLD HISTORY, by Mark Kurlansky - sounds crazy, but it was incredibly interesting - who knew that salt had such an impact on our world.

    2. I don't normally do this, but every once in a while, I enjoy a little salt on a nectarine. In East LA, I had the fresh fruit mix (from a stand) with tons of salt, chile powder and lime juice on it. It was hard to eat after a while (too salty), but it does grow on you.

      Generally, I eat my fruit unsalted; but once in a while, it's okay to do something different.

      1 Reply
      1. re: katkoupai

        I realize I'm replying to a 2007 post, but the thread is active again so why not.

        If the salt, chile powder, lime juice combo was too salty for you, try sprinkling Crystal hot sauce on mango. A friend from El Salvador used to buy this every day walking home from school. She suggested this combination and I love it as a snack or starter course.

      2. I've never actually salted my fruit before but I do like prosciutto on melon so I think I can understand the pairing. The opposites add a complexity that is delicious.

        1. My parents do and I think it's good but don't do it myself. There is a brown salty powder that you can get from Taiwan that's for fruit that's really good. I don't think it's an acquired taste--a lot of people I know like watermelon and feta right off the bat.

          I just found the powder on the site below. Search for dried prune powder.

          1 Reply
          1. re: chowser

            that's the ling he mui powder, in hawaii you can get dried mangoes with that and it is so can also buy the powder in most japanese/hawaiian stores like marukai, at the costcos in hawaii, you can buy the powder in bulk.

          2. I think salting watermelon is fairly common -- when I make watermelon juice, I always add a little salt, and it does bring out the flavor. I remember when I was a kid I used to put salt on apples. I wonder when I stopped doing that?

            Whether it's an acquired taste probably depends on how salt sensitive you are. If you use a small amount, it shouldn't taste salty, just more complexly flavored, but if you're sensitive to salt, that level at which it doesn't taste salty may be very low.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              I used to put salt on sour green apples as a kid too, and I have no idea why I stopped either. I think a touch of salt can enhance limeade and lemonade too.

              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                I love to put salt on melons. In fact, I never liked watermelon until I put salt on it. I remember one of my mom's friends telling me I wasn't really a kid because I didn't like watermelon.

                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                  While I am a watermelon purist (no salt for me), that concept is the reason behind watermelon-feta cheese salads. The combination is irresistible.

                  That being said, salt does enhance many sweet things. One of the reasons Frango Mints are so good is the slight saltiness contrasting with the sweet chocolate and mint flavors. Same for Tollhouse and peanutbutter cookies.

                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                    I simply do not eat watermelon - ever - without salt. I love it that way.

                    And my Syrian grandfather taught me to eat watermelon on some pita bread. Surprisingly good.