Check out Salt Fat Acid Heat - a unique culinary show on Netflix
Hosted by Iranian-American chef and author Samin Nosrat, this Netflix offering based on her 2017 book by the same name is not only a depiction of the myriad flavours
Neatly arranged white bowls of finely chopped ingredients, glistening non-stick pans resting on a polished stove, and a glamorous chef dressed in designer wear stirring a ladle in the backdrop of a ritzy kitchen - Salt Fat Acid Heat is a unique culinary show devoid of these exigencies. And that's what makes it worth talking about.
Hosted by Iranian-American chef and author Samin Nosrat, this Netflix offering based on her 2017 book by the same name is not only a depiction of the myriad flavours - captivated through breathtaking shots across verdant neighbourhoods in Italy, Japan and Yucatán and inside the kitchen of Berkeley's Chez Panisse, where she began her career - but is also a peek into what real food looks like. Shun off the glossy excesses of well-tailored food shows that we are used to, this one exemplifies the one principle that lies at the heart of the series – simplicity.
So, not only does the four-episode feature manage to build an immersive narrative around the four ingredients Nosrat swears are key to good food - salt, fat, acid and heat. But it has also been executed with equally uncomplicated direction (Brad Hebert and Caroline Suh) which embraces the mishaps with as much candour as it does the mesmerising close-ups of freshly made pesto.
We find a chirpy Nosrat winding her way through Japan, a country that has mastered the art of using salt (be it through sea salt derived from a unique cultivation process involving a web of sea weed or soy and miso); an ecstatic explorer tasting handmade cheese in Italy, and an embarrassed child who makes imperfect tortillas.
But for us, perhaps, the most important lesson was the one urging us to look beyond the obvious and seek flavours hiding in plain sight, like the hint of acidity that comes from charring a pepper, or the way a little miso can add an elevated brininess to a plate of plain rice.
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