I’ve got low blood pressure. It’s not so bad that I notice it on a daily basis but enough that my doctors encourage me to include a bit more salt in my diet to raise it.
It was initially tricky to diagnose as I tend towards tachycardia because of the chronic pain from my ankylosing spondylitis. Pain, and the stress that it can cause my system, can often raise my blood pressure to “normal” levels so it got missed for a few years. But nevertheless a smart doctor noticed the trend and encouraged me to keep salty snacks on hand.
I say this because Germans appear to dislike salt in their cuisine. My first clue was that my Airbnb didn’t have any salt in the kitchen. There was a tiny shaker of it but it appeared to have about one meal’s worth of it in the shaker. It was so small I suspect it was from a travel set.
Meanwhile there was a full size battery operated pepper grinder next to it. The grocery store nearby has one of the most impressive spice selections I’ve ever seen but offered only one box of salt. There was no kosher salt or sea salt or flakes. Just a box with a little spout of salt that honestly tastes a bit artificial. It might be but I can’t totally tell.
Virtually all of the takeout and delivery I’ve had has been under-salted to my admittedly very America palette. I get it. We eat too much salt. But for me the American standard keeps my blood pressure up so not only am I used to it but it’s crucial to my health.
But everything from the schnitzel to the Thai and Ethiopian takeaway feels like it would benefit from salt. And all I’ve got is some crappy boxes maybe synthetic salt to sprinkle on it.
Tonight I went to the pedestrian mall that seems to be the main gathering spot for nightlife here. I happened upon a pomme frites stand. I thought hell yes it’s Friday night let’s get some French fries and people watch. I forked over a few euros for an order. It was absolutely perfectly fried. But god damn it if it wasn’t kind of mediocre because it didn’t have enough salt.