• Six ways to salt your food

    I have a bit of a geeky love for compound words that exist in other languages but which are yet to migrate to English, as well as very specific terms for processes and situations. The Germans are notorious for them. Anyway, I was mugging up on a bit of Japanese cookery vocab, and indeed trying to resurrect my severely rusty Japanese, when I discovered that the Japanese have SIX - yes, six! - terms for how salt is applied to food.

    You know your life won't be complete if you don't know these:

    1) SHIO-MOMI: the process of rubbing ingredients lightly - also described as massage - after sprinkling salt over them to remove moisture

    2) KESHO-JIO: covering parts of a fish, particularly the fins, with salt prior to grilling to prevent scorching

    3) BETA-JIO: putting plenty of salt over an ingredient (particularly fish) to tighten its texture

    4)TATE-JIO: rinsing ingredients in salt water to add a salty taste

    5) FURI-JIO: sprinkling salt all over an ingredient to remove its smell or tighten its texture

    6) SAKAMUSHI: steaming fish with sake and salt to remove the smell

    I have to admit that the exact distinctions are somewhat lost on me, and I think may have been lost in translation. Here ends this written episode of QI. Now go bore someone down the pub with these fun facts!

    (In case you hadn't guessed, jio - also pronounced shio - is the Japanese word for salt)

     

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