Lawson — U.K. food personality, chef, journalist, and domestic goddess — is known for her easygoing attitude in the kitchen, for sultry glances to the camera, for eating slices of chocolate cake in her silk pajamas, and for tearing into cold fried chicken straight from the fridge. None of these things are why people are overreacting — no, the reason for the current uproar is salt.
During the episode in question, Nigella “shares her go-to recipes for laid-back entertaining: beef and aubergine fatteh, accompanied by bulgur wheat with flaked almonds and nigella seeds.” All is well until the moment comes to season the bulgur that is to accompany the fatteh. With snappy music playing in the background, Nigella explains that she likes to salt “very generously” before seasoning the pot with what appears to be two teaspoons of kosher salt.
Then the Twitterverse came a’tweeting:
But here’s the thing: Compare the amount of salt she uses to the amount of salt used by chefs on the regular, and it’s really not that appalling. She is, after all, seasoning a bland, starchy wheat and cold water — in order to make it taste its best, salt is probably a good idea! It’s not as though Nigella is selling her show or the food she makes in it as healthy options; she’s making brownies, Queen of Puddings, shoestring fries, and midnight grilled Brie sandwiches, for goodness sakes.
An excessive deployment of salt at every meal might not be the best for your health, but use your judgement and just calm down, OK? Salt is not the enemy. Use your common sense and don’t make things needlessly difficult. Lawson literally says that it is a lot of salt — if that’s too much salt for you, just add less. It’s not rocket science, it’s food.
As Nigella says in a different episode, shaking her head reproachfully: “Life can be complicated, cooking doesn’t have to be.” Take a tip from Nigella and don’t let cooking complicate your life by following these 20 simple steps for a stress-free dinner party.