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LostInParadise's avatar

Are large pretzels less salty than small ones?

Asked by LostInParadise (31901points) October 1st, 2023
9 responses
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It seems to me that the larger pretzels sold in the supermarket are less densely covered with than the smaller ones. I buy the larger ones partly because I prefer less salt.

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seawulf575's avatar

I guess you’d have to scrape all the salt and then weigh it. The smaller pretzels have finer grain salt. Bigger pretzels have coarser grain salt. So while there may be fewer crystals, there might actually be more salt.

LostInParadise's avatar

Good point. Something else I just thought of. The salt grains are 3 dimensional, so even if the surface density is smaller, the volume may be larger.

LostInParadise's avatar

There is a simple way of finding the answer to my question. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner. Just compare the sodium per serving written on the packages. I will do that the next time I so grocery shopping.

Forever_Free's avatar

I am not sure that will give you the answer either. If there is sodium in the pretzel batter that was cooked it will yield a different flavor than the salt on the outside.
Sounds like we need a blind taste test of all the bags of pretzels in the store and compare against the label.
I’ll bring the beer.

LostInParadise's avatar

You may be right, but I would guess that with salt on the outside of the pretzel, there is not a need for putting much in the batter.

jca2's avatar

When we go to NYC a few times a year and buy a pretzel from the cart guys, the big pretzel (five dollars if you don’t bargain with them), there is very little salt on it. Maybe three grains on each “leg” of the pretzel. Maybe it was made with more and the salt came off, who knows, but still, not very salty at all.

Forever_Free's avatar

@LostInParadise
The main function of salt in recipes is to enhance the flavor of the other ingredients. Its presence perks up the depth and complexity of other flavors as the ingredients meld. Salt also provides a balance to the sweetness of batters—but a salty flavor should not be discernible in the baked good.

LostInParadise's avatar

Wouldn’t the salt still be able to perform these functions if it is mainly on the outside? After a few chews it should not make much difference where the salt came from.

Forever_Free's avatar

My point was that salt is needed in most cooking/baking to enhance the flavor of the other items.
Salt would still go into the batter to enhance the batter ingredient and not to make it salty. There is such a thing as unsalted pretzels that contain salt in the batter but none added to the exterior.
Somewhat like people who don’t like salt on their margherita and some do.

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