Which condiment shaker has actually the many holes: salt or pepper? —Nadine M., St. Louis

For decades, this conversation has been the subject of numerous impassioned mealtime debates, along the lines of “Coke or Pepsi?” or “Should chili contain beans?” In this case, both camps can present a logical (rather than simply preferential) argument.

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Salt has been part of the proverbial dinner table because that millennia. Salt was one of the world"s main trading commodities. Battles were fought over it. Books have been written around it. Its capability as a smell enhancer to be universally recognized. Salt was even used as currency. End the years, countries, culture, medical theories, and also health every factored right into the shaker debate.

Fifty year ago, when high schoolers attended soccer camps because that 10 work in mid-August, they were given salt tablet computers to replenish what was lost during the workouts, comparable to those who operated outdoors in the excessive heat. This resulted in one concept on the shaker holes argument: Salt was crucial to sustain human being life; therefore, civilization tended come use much more of it—hence it went in the shaker through the most holes.

In the past couple of years, however, in this nation especially, the tide has actually turned: extreme salt was understood unhealthy, therefore it to be relegated to the shaker with the fewest holes.

One dispute says, “There are an ext holes because that pepper, because pepper is a much longer word than salt.” another says that since people are much more sparing through pepper (recipes and an individual tastes generally speak to for more salt than pepper), it need to go in the shaker with fewer holes.

Because oversalting food have the right to be problematic, under holes have the right to be helpful. Or because salt pours much more quickly than pepper, fewer holes renders sense.

Others to speak it"s no the number of holes that provides a difference however the size that matters. Due to the fact that salt crystals are larger (and have tendency to clump in humid conditions), their holes must be bigger. (However, after having actually shaken the dickens the end of countless a pepper shaker to yield only a dusting of product, i think it makes sense to placed pepper in the shaker with the biggest holes, for this reason it operation at an acceptable rate.)

Many avoid the dispute entirely by utilizing glass or clean plastic shakers through an equal variety of holes.

When world realized the smell of soil pepper dissipates considerably over time, pepper mills came right into vogue, first as an add-on by servers in an intricate restaurants. Pepper mills are currently standard worry on countless restaurant tables, yet the fate that salt is still being decided.

Traditional salt shakers space still usual on restaurant tables, yet salt mills (filled v sea salt) are on the rise, as space salt cellars/salt “pigs” (from “pigge,” the old English word because that earthenware), v tiny spoons because that sprinkling purposes.

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Since pepper mills look the end of place without a mate and also salt cellars/pigs call for a deft touch, I complete that the many logical solution is using a matched collection of mills that control the flow and the grind. Pan of salt and pepper mills (like me) find themselves constantly transforming the size of the grind that both condiments, thereby controlling the complexion that a dish.

And, together a side benefit, the answer come the shaker dispute becomes, “Who cares?”