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

For decades, this conversation has to be the subject of plenty of impassioned mealtime debates, along the present of “Coke or Pepsi?” or “Should chili save beans?” In this case, both camps can present a logical (rather than merely preferential) argument.

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Salt has actually been component of the proverbial dinner table because that millennia. Salt was among the world"s main trading commodities. Wars were fought over it. Publications have to be written about it. Its capability as a smell enhancer was universally recognized. Salt was even used together currency. End the years, countries, culture, medical theories, and also health all factored right into the shaker debate.

Fifty year ago, when high schoolers attended football camps because that 10 job in mid-August, they were given salt tablets to replenish what to be lost throughout the workouts, similar to those who worked outdoors in the extreme heat. This caused one concept on the shaker holes argument: Salt was vital to sustain human being life; therefore, human being tended come use much more of it—hence the went in the shaker with the most holes.

In the past few years, however, in this nation especially, that tide has actually turned: excessive salt was considered unhealthy, therefore it to be relegated to the shaker with the fewest holes.

One argument says, “There are more holes for pepper, due to the fact that pepper is a longer word than salt.” an additional says that since people are more sparing with pepper (recipes and an individual tastes generally contact for an ext salt 보다 pepper), it have to go in the shaker through fewer holes.

Because oversalting food have the right to be problematic, under holes can be helpful. Or due to the fact that salt pours an ext quickly 보다 pepper, fewer holes provides sense.

Others say it"s not the variety of holes that renders a difference yet the dimension that matters. Because salt crystals are larger (and have tendency to clump in humid conditions), your holes should be bigger. (However, after having actually shaken the dickens the end of plenty of a pepper shaker come yield only a dusting of product, i think it renders sense to put pepper in the shaker through the biggest holes, therefore it operation at an acceptable rate.)

Many prevent the dispute entirely by using glass or clear plastic shakers with an equal number of holes.

When civilization realized the smell of ground pepper dissipates considerably over time, pepper mills came right into vogue, first as an add-on by servers in an elaborate restaurants. Pepper mills are now standard worry on numerous restaurant tables, however the fate of salt is still gift decided.


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

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Since pepper mills look out of location without a mate and also salt cellars/pigs need a deft touch, I contend that the most logical solution is utilizing a matched collection of mills that manage the circulation and the grind. Fans of salt and also pepper mills (like me) uncover themselves constantly changing the dimension of the grind the both condiments, thereby regulating the complexion the a dish.

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