Had a realization recently while eating tortilla chips at a restaurant. They were unbelievably delicious. But halfway through the bowl, I realized that they were basically just a salt delivery system.
All the time, I go to a restaurant and order something and it is delicious and then I wonder, “Why does home-cooked food never taste like this?”
Well, restaurants prepare their food safely out of sight, so they can put more sugar and salt and fat and lard and oil in it than I could ever imagine using.
Restaurants aren’t special. I mean, they have industrial equipment back there that allows them to cook more food at once, but it’s still basically just stoves and ovens and griddles and all the other things that we can do. And sure, the chefs in a restaurant are quick and precise and understand the ways in which their ingredients are affecting the taste of the finished product (whereas I pretty much just mechanically follow the recipe and hope that it’ll taste good). But still, I think that at least half the reason we go to restaurants (and half the reason that restaurant food is so good) is that they put unhealthy ingredients into their food at quantities that we would never imagine doing it in our own kitchen.
For instance, a friend was once telling me that he’d been trying, over and over, to make pad thai, but it never came out quite right. Well, obv, he wasn’t using enough oil or sugar. If he had used enough, then it would’ve tasted right, but he wouldn’t have wanted to eat it anymore. It’s only when the preparation is cloaked by an anonymous professional in an anonymous kitchen that we can sit back and enjoy our salt.