Salt plays a very important role in foods that satisfy our sweet tooth—cookies, cakes, chocolates, and ice cream. It's true—ice cream would not exist if it weren't for salt.
Nearly all baking recipes you come across will call for salt, and we bet you've wondered why. Wonder no more, because the answer is quite simple: salt brings out the flavor of even your sweet treats and baked goods. Surprised? The same reason we use salt in our cooking recipes is essentially the same reason we use salt in baking recipes. The salt you add to your baking recipes will promote the sweetness of your dessert and may help to enhance the flavor of your other ingredients as well—including butter (which is why it's best to use unsalted butter in baking recipes).
Remember, though, when it comes to adding salt to your baking recipes, a little goes a long way. You don't want to use too much salt as you run the risk of overpowering the sweet flavors.
Of course, this doesn't mean you can grab any kind of salt that you have on your shelf and sprinkle it in to your cookie recipe. An herb-blended salt may not necessarily compliment the flavors of your German chocolate cake—but then again, who are we to stop you from trying something new?!
If it weren't for salt, this world would not have ice cream—which would be an absolute disgrace if you ask us!
When our founding fathers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson weren't upholding freedom and democracy, they may have been enjoying a delicious bowl of ice cream which, at the time, was quite a luxury.
Back then (and, it may go without saying, before refrigeration), ice was cut in the winter from frozen lakes and ponds, and ice cream would then be handmade from milk, eggs, and sugar in a large bowl placed in an ice-and-salt-filled tub.
The salt would help melt the ice in the tub (as salt is known to do) and the ice would then absorb latent heat and bring the mixture below the freezing point of water. As the salt melted the ice, the temperature of ingredients in the large bowl would lower, allowing the ingredients to freeze into ice cream. Chemistry at its tastiest. (To learn more about the science behind salt's ice-melting abilities, click here).
It wasn't until the mid-1800s that a woman named Nancy Johnson created a hand-crank churn to aide in this production, which spun several other iterations and improvements upon the design, and brought ice cream to the masses. And when the 1920s heralded in the freezer, mass production of ice cream soon followed, and the ice cream industry came into its own. Thanks, salt!