Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Full Season
October 29, 2018 7:48 PM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

Chef Samin Nosrat travels to Italy, Japan, Mexico, and California to learn about and demonstrate four of the fundamental building blocks of cooking, to teach and encourage home cooks how to think about their food beyond just following recipes.

Some coverage from
“‘Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat’ Changes the Rules for Who Gets to Eat on TV”
“Nosrat traverses a different path, one that bridges the divide between the woman’s world in the kitchen and the man’s world at large, and that grapples with the optics of being a first kind of anything. “I’m not trying to be the most beautiful… whatever,” she said on a recent episode of the Eater Upsell podcast . “I wear Birkenstocks and weird overalls, and my house is a little bit messy, and I make a huge mess in the kitchen. I’m not perfect, I’m not Martha Stewart, I’m not Alice Waters. It’s different, I’m different, and those are actually things to celebrate, rather than try to scrub out.”
"Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat’ Is Marxist Fantasy Porn"
In the new Netflix show Salt Fat Acid Heat— based off the bestselling book by, and starring, chef Samin Nosrat — all the food production is extremely inefficient. Whether it’s traditionally brewed soy sauce in Japan ( which ferments in the barrel for two years ) or flavored honeys in Mexico ( which are delicately extracted from a hive via tiny syringe ), Nosrat goes out of her way to tell us how little the producers can make compared to industrial factories. (One Tixcacaltuyub bee hive yields less than a liter of honey each year, compared to 30 to 40 kilos annually for a more traditional hive.) Her point isn’t to communicate the rarity of these ingredients in a Most Expensivest kind of way — there are few purchases and no prices on the show. The inefficiencies in SFAHare just a component of what makes the show so enjoyable: its vision of unalienated labor.
Episode recaps, which include links to some of the places visited and products featured:
Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Episode 4

Show homepage, which includes recipes

Original book
posted by dnash (16 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
It really has been a treat to see local abuelas and women chefs be featured so strongly! The show looks great and is a really refreshing watch.
posted by sixswitch at 5:20 AM on October 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

When I heard the title of her book, Salt Fat Acid Heat, it changed my perception of cooking and I knew that it would help. When I saw that there'd be a Netflix series, I watched it immediately (on a plane) and then came home and watched it through again with my partner. I just picked up the book, too, and it's a great resource.

I love her abject joy, her appreciation for the processes, and the accessibility of her love for cooking - her contagious laugh! Even in the book, when she's talking about chemical and molecular processes, she's doing it in a way that doesn't feel remote.

and I noticed and ADORE how the series focuses so closely, too, on the SOUNDS of preparation - amplifying small noises of the process, of kneading or sizzling or scraping or chopping, and quieting down to listen to them. What a lovely meditative approach.
posted by entropone at 6:21 AM on October 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

she is an unqualified delight to watch/read/listen to.

in addition to entropone's observations about the sounds on the show, i found through her instagram shes a huge art nerd and apparently spent a ton of time with her DP and the crew on these caravaggio inspired dark and moody still life type shots that basically take up literal seconds of the finished product. . . shes also been expressing a ton of joy and surprise that her series/book has inspired so many people to cook, but like its legitimately inspiring to watch someone with as much passion and joy doing something she loves.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 8:16 AM on October 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

I have to say that the "Fat" episode had me a little, like, "oh look, Italy. Again." I guess I've just seen enough food and travel TV that watching olive harvesting is not new or particularly interesting to me.

The others were really great, though. I want to get some of that slow aged soy sauce to try! And after hearing her talk about using miso, something I'd only cooked with once before, as a source of salt, I thought "hey, maybe I could put it in French onion soup." So I did and it was super yummy.

And watching her make Persian rice with her mother was delightful. I have to try making that sometime soon.
posted by dnash at 8:39 AM on October 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

another delightfully honest interview (mostly) about a topic i wouldnt have thought i could possibly care about - Samin's beauty routine:

i just cant get enough:

"Your smile makes everyone else smile. It’s contagious.

Here’s how I take care of my smile: I take my antidepressants and I try to sleep. Oh wait, you mean my teeth! Before the show, I was like I gotta whiten my teeth. I got the dentist version of Crest White Strips and they changed nothing. I was like, whatever. "
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 10:55 AM on October 30, 2018 [5 favorites]

I guess I've just seen enough food and travel TV that watching olive harvesting is not new or particularly interesting to me.

Yeah, I enjoyed watching this series on a Saturday afternoon a few weeks ago. I agree with all the praise for the lovely cinematography and the sound design and such, but it didn't cover much new ground about any of the four elements for me. That's a YMMV scenario depending on how many other food & travel shows you watch, and I am guilty of watching a lot of them.

The one thing that was new to me was the segment about the Melipona bees. It's an interesting counterpart to the first episode of Rotten, about the counterfeiting shenanigans in the world of commercial honey production.

Still, this series was relaxing, enjoyable, and rahter luscious to watch.
posted by briank at 11:48 AM on October 30, 2018

Of all the beautiful cinematography, the last shot of Salt where it circled back to the seashore made me outright gasp.
posted by mosst at 1:12 PM on October 30, 2018 [2 favorites]

I have to say that the "Fat" episode had me a little, like, "oh look, Italy. Again." I guess I've just seen enough food and travel TV that watching olive harvesting is not new or particularly interesting to me.

Yeah, that was the one of the four that least impressed me as well -- of all things, it felt reminiscent of the first few episodes of the second season of Master of None. It would have been better if the series had gone in the same order as the title -- Salt felt more original to me.

But what a delight Samin is! She's wonderful; I'm halfway through the linked podcast and she seems exactly the same there, including eating while being interviewed. I really like the diversity on the show, and when you see her interact with her book's illustrator, it's the sort of friend chemistry you can't make up.

As wonderful as the Yucatan episode is, it was originally intended to be shot in Iran, which would have been really groundbreaking.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 4:03 PM on October 30, 2018

So far I've only watched the acid episode but it is a pure delight. She's such a fresh voice for this kind of show -it's not that she isn't attractive and charismatic, but her attractiveness and charisma are so relatable. It's not about how cool (Anthony Bourdain) or beautiful and stylish (where to even start?) she is, it's about her winningly dorky enthusiasm for food and the people who work with it.
posted by lunasol at 3:46 PM on October 31, 2018 [1 favorite]

I agree there's nothing especially ground breaking about the series, except I find her approach and presence is like the perfect antidote to the blokey, very masculine voices that usually dominate this kind of show. It was a delight.
posted by smoke at 2:30 AM on November 1, 2018 [4 favorites]

What I particularly like is how humble she is. When tasting the Parmesan cheese, she says "So where do I start? What am I tasting?" I'm sure she knows what will happen, but she seems to want to learn at every opportunity. She seems a lovely person.
posted by dbmcd at 12:42 PM on November 2, 2018 [4 favorites]

I guess what's groundbreaking is watching a normal looking (beautiful! But not TV-afied) woman getting to be passionate about a thing.

We watched the salt episode which I enjoyed, but I was left wondering after she tasted the insanely badass artisinal soy sauce, did she think it tasted kind of gross?? She didn't really comment after tasting it! I mean, there's a way that would make me happy. Some flavors, if you don't grow up eating them, are very hard to appreciate!
posted by latkes at 6:43 PM on November 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

I like that she has made a "one person's journey about food" series that isn't also a stealth biography on what a cool and awesome person she is personally. She doesn't overdo narration. She doesn't shoehorn in personal anecdotes. She doesn't try to place everything into a personal context. She is, at all times, respectful of and truly in the moment with the people she is learning from.

Ironically, this makes her more likable and relatable personally.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:53 AM on November 22, 2018 [6 favorites]

I don't know how I didn't find this sooner (watching Netflix at somebody else's place so maybe that's it). I've been thinking about that buttermilk chicken ever since - and the miso eggs.


While Nosrat does not cook the way normal people cook — she’s much, much better — she does some of the same things we do. She winces and cries her way through dicing a pile of onions. She makes mistakes, as she does when making a loaf of focaccia, and owns up to them. She throws a dinner party in her Berkeley, Calif., home and serves her guests roast chicken, and no one drinks out of fancy stemware.


“The bulk of all cooking has been done by women. And yet, in popular culture and in media, it’s very rarely that women are given credit for that — are honored in any way — and certainly it’s even more rare that home cooks are glorified or dignified or honored in any way,” said Nosrat. Grandmothers are an obvious choice: Not only is it a chance to show a demographic that has historically been ignored on TV, it is a way to get a true expert to show Nosrat what to do. “I feel like there’s something to learn from every single one of them,” she said.

“It was absolutely intentional,” that the show shows mostly women, and especially older women, said Nosrat. “There would be times where the producers would bring me a list of people” that was full of men, and she would tell them to go back to the drawing board.

posted by bunderful at 7:23 PM on January 1, 2019 [2 favorites]

I'm enjoying this very much (just finished the first episode), and Samin Nosrat's ebullience is very much a part of that, but is anyone else a little put off by how little space her guests are given to talk? It was especially the case when she was visiting Benedetta Vitali and making ragù, which segment was mostly Nosrat talking at Vitali about Vitali's area of expertise and using her as a kind of prop instead of eliciting Vitali's insights and letting her talk. I was pretty put off by that and I'm hoping it's just an aberration in this episode and not an ongoing theme.
posted by invitapriore at 4:45 PM on April 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

(For fans of Netflix food/travel shows - I added a Fanfare post for Street Food, a new series.)
posted by dnash at 12:32 PM on May 2, 2019 [1 favorite]

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