I've been trying to cut back on salt. While it's a great "flavor magnifier" I used to use it too much. Since cutting back I almost never add salt at the table, while trying to cook with it in moderation. What I've found is that my taste buds have really adjusted. I really enjoy the food taste and don't need that salt kick.
But this is making me a pariah in the American food culture. We Americans love our salt and have grown so accustomed to it that we demand it of our food providers.
I noticed this a couple nights ago when we had some good friends over for dinner. This family is a big eater of prepared food and almost never cooks from scratch. I made, I think.., the Red Pepper pasta, and their whole family asked for the salt shaker throughout the meal. Trust me, it didn't need it. None of my family used the shaker once. The difference had to be the prepared food they normally eat.
I also really notice the salt in restaurant food. Everything is incredibly salty at most of the family oriented (Applebee's, Chili's...) restaurants here in the midwest. But if that's what people expect, that's what the restaurants are forced to serve. What a catch 22. If they make normal, un-salt-encrusted food, people would say it doesn't taste good. We've become addicted.
All I know is I've never been happier with the way food tastes. It's just harder to eat out and almost impossible to buy something already prepared for those times when we're in a pinch. No pun intended.
What are your favorite ways to cut back on salt or what spice alternatives do you recommend?