This week, I decided to switch gears and ditch the dramas in favor of a documentary series. For the foodies reading this column, this review is for you.
Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat is a four-part docu-series based on Samin Nosrat’s book, that follows Nosrat around the world as she explores the key elements of cooking.
Nosrat believes that anyone can learn to cook well if they can understand the four elements of cooking, which she lists as salt, fat, acid and heat. The cinematography of this series is stunning and folks, don’t watch this on an empty stomach or you’ll find yourself racing to the grocery store in an attempt to try out the recipes Nosrat prepares in each episode.
To educate viewers about fat, Nosrat travels to Italy not to create elaborate meals but to perfect delectable recipes that revolve around fats like olive oil and cheese. In Japan, she informs the audience about the different types of salt, how salt is collected and how miso is prepared. In Mexico, she delves into how layering acidic flavors can build a recipe and the importance of having the acids added to simple flavors. Back in the U.S., she explains how important heat is for the cooking process, knowing how much or how long to heat a recipe can make or break a meal. Throughout the series Nosrat tastes everything at every level of cooking and explains how important it is to taste each ingredient as she builds upon the flavors in each dish to ensure that the food will reach the desired outcomes.
While many people don’t care for documentaries and docu-series, finding that they’re too stuffy or dull, this series is a nice introduction to documentary for those who are hesitant because it’s easily accessible. Nosrat doesn’t fling kitchen jargon at viewers and she’s not stiff in front of the camera. She jokes about with friends and the experts she enlists to educate herself about different elements of cooking. For a light-hearted culinary fling that might inspire you to dig out your apron, give Salt, Fat, Acid Heat a try.
Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat is available as a four-part series on Netflix. Fans might also enjoy Chef’s Table, also available on Netflix.