You’re standing over your eggs wondering where on earth you went wrong. How hard could it be? It should be simple. Crack the egg into the pan, wait until it’s firm and then eat up… right? Wrong.

If this is the procedure you followed, and nothing more, then you will likely be eating bland eggs for breakfast. Sure, they will taste like eggs, but your instinct is telling you that something is missing.

After a quick scan of the counter top, that beautiful little salt shaker catches your eye. A little dash here, a little dash there, and presto, you just upped your egg game. Upon tasting, you are extremely pleased with yourself, as the salt has taken your eggs to the next level. In fact, it really has done something quite remarkable hasn’t it? Somehow, the salt made your eggs… well… eggier. 

Photo by Megan Prendergast

Now there’s a lot more to cooking the perfect eggs, but that’s a story for a different day. The point that I want to get across is that salt is your ally in the kitchen. You can add all the fancy herbs and spices you want, but if your dish is under salted, it will still turn out bland. Salt actually concentrates and enhances the flavors that are already present, bringing out the best in your food. The stuff really does work miracles.

Remember, though, it’s all about achieving balance. I am by no means telling you to start over salting your food, because that’s probably the worst thing you can do. You should season liberally, but to your own taste. If you think the food is bland, trust your judgment and season accordingly. I know it’s a basic concept, but it’s an extremely important one at that.

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Don’t start thinking that the secret to a perfect dish is simply a dash of salt, but it is certainly a good place to start. Once you realize that proper seasoning is the number one priority, you can start layering on other flavors and textures in hopes of achieving that perfect balance. It’s all about depth and complexity, along with those subtle tweaks that make the food your own.