There's no denying the major role that salt and pepper play in the Western dining experience. You'll most likely find one of each at your own dinner table or at your favorite restaurant. Or usually, at the very least, your waiter will ask you if you would like him or her to enhance your meal with additional pepper from that majestic-looking pepper grinder that's taller than a toddler.
There are all sorts of historical and geographical reasons as to why salt and pepper are so prevalent in various cuisines, but particularly in those stemming from Western cultures.
Salt is found all over the planet and actually supports our bodies' natural functions. As for pepper, it turns out there is a particular reason it has always been paired with salt to become two of the most important seasonings in culinary history. And it has a lot do with King Louis XIV. The French monarch preferred light flavoring, tending toward a pretty basic sprinkling of salt and pepper.
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If it wasn't for him, perhaps we'd be using an entirely different pairing of seasonings on our food. Even so, it's incredible that salt and pepper have remained such a focal part of our culinary experience, after all this time.
Incredible, but totally understandable. Sometimes you just need a little salt and pepper - it's a basic ingredient that can make all the difference in terms of how good your meal tastes.
But after all this time, there are still many salt and pepper-related hacks that many people, even the biggest foodies, have yet to discover. Did you know, for instance, that the ridges on the bottom of salt and pepper shakers actually have a purpose? It's true - while some people have known about this useful little function for years, others (incuding myself) are only just finding out about it.
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Personally, I never knew about it until very recently when a Twitter user, known as Creepy Kellie, shared one very genius hack that you'll kick yourself for not knowing. The hack will help you retrieve the last few grains of salt and pepper from the most stubborn of shakers.
Creepy Kellie shared a short but very informative clip, demonstrating just how to get the best out of your salt and pepper shakers:
In the caption to the video, the user wrote: "My mom is losing her s**t cause I showed her how to get pepper out without taking the lid off. Someone showed me this at work."
In the video, which has received over 18,000 views since it was posted, a woman can be seen shaking the pepper above an empty plate with great difficulty - the grains just weren't coming out.
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After this failed attempt at releasing the pepper grains from the shaker, the lady then starts circling the ridge of the pepper shaker with a salt shaker and is finally able to get a generous helping of the pepper out.
Twitter users from around the world flocked to the video, and were quick to voice their thoughts regarding the little-known hack, with one writing: "What is this sorcery!"
Another added: "Mind blown. I’m 40 and had no clue."
And a third wrote: "I don’t even like pepper, but still gotta try this… mind blown."
This is certainly isn't the only food-related hack to send the internet into complete meltdown recently.
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In fact, not too long ago, a Youtube user known as Foody Tube showed his subscribers how to save hours in the kitchen, in particular when it comes to the pretty mind-numbing task of peeling potatoes.
The YouTuber informed his viewers that you don't have to peel the skin of potatoes before boiling them. You can, instead, peel the skin straight off when they're done cooking.
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This is how to do it:
Cut the potatoes slightly down the middle, creating a slight ring all the way around. Cut no deeper than the actual skin of the potatoes. Then simply put them into a pot of hot water.
Keep boiling the water until they are tender enough for you to poke a fork through, then drain the water. When they've cooled down a little, you can start peeling the skin off - it should slip off pretty easily.
If you want to warm your potatoes up again, just put them back into the pot full of hot water. This little trick will really speed up the entire cooking process. And not having to use those pesky potato peelers is always a plus!
So will you be trying these simple yet revolutionary hacks? I know I will.