The 10 Best Moments from Netflix’s “Salt Fat Acid Heat”
There’s no food show quite like Samin Nosrat’s Salt Fat Acid Heat. There are elements of travel, cooking, science, and human interest all packed into four short episodes. To me, it almost feels like a mixture between Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown and Julia Child’s The French Chef. And does it get any better than that?
If you’ve watched the entire first season on Netflix, then you know that it all feels like one big “best moment,” but if I had to choose specifics, there are a few parts of the show I still think about regularly. Most of these moments — as you’ll see — are just Samin reacting to things, because she truly has the best faces.
1. When Samin and Diego dimple the focaccia (“Fat,” 11:30)
The next time someone tells me to visualize my “happy place” it will certainly be the scene in “Fat” where Samin and Diego make focaccia. The whole process looks so soothing and therapeutic (and if you want to make the recipe, here you go). The best part of the scene, hands-down, is when they both artfully dimple the focaccia before adding the brine. Who knew such a simple act could look so graceful? It was this moment that I questioned all my life choices that led me to not live in Italy.
2. When Samin takes a bite of 40-month-aged red cow Parmesan (“Fat,” 31:45)
After learning how Parmesan is made in the “Fat” episode, Samin gets to try three different Parmesans — 24 months, 30 months, and 40 months. All of the cheeses sound incredible, but when Samin tries the 40-month-aged Parmesan she calls it the “candy of Parmesan.” It looks like she’s about to cry after her tasting, and I’ve never been more jealous in my entire life.
3. When Samin combines the ingredients to make fresh pasta (“Fat,” 39:50)
I could watch Samin and Benedetta make ragu for hours (and hours), but I especially enjoyed the moment when they’re making the fresh pasta and Benedetta adds a little water to the dough and Samin carefully but forcefully combines everything with her hands. It’s magic.
4. When Samin tries that super, super fresh tai red snapper with Moshio salt (“Salt,” 9:45)
After learning all about Moshio salt in the “Salt” episode, it culminates with Samin trying fresh tai red napper with a sprinkling of the salt. She closes her eyes, shakes her head, and says, “It’s so good, it’s so clean. It’s really like Japanese cooks have figured out how to use every part of the ocean.” If I already didn’t desperately want to visit Japan, this would have put me over the edge.
5. When Samin tries the aged miso from Kazumi. (“Salt,” 17:10)
When Samin visits Nancy Singleton Hachisu on Shodo Island in the “Salt” episode, they learn how to make miso with Kazumi. At the end of their visit, Kazumi brings out a two-year-aged miso that she made. It’s in this giant pot and the miso is a deep, deep red color. Samin takes one bite and looks shocked. “I don’t know if I’ve ever tasted miso like this before,” she exclaims. Damn.
6. When Samin listens to the soy sauce bubbles at Yamaroku Shoyu (“Salt,” 19:45)
Samin learns about soy sauce from Yasuo Yamamoto in the “Salt” episode, and the entire visit feels like one epic poem. “I don’t make the soy sauce. The microorganisms make it. I just create an environment where they can thrive,” Yasuo explains (I mean, c’mon). At one point, Yasuo and Samin bend down near and listen to the “popping sounds” that the mixture makes. What a life.
7. When Dona Asaria tells Samin she makes 250 fresh tortillas every day (“Acid,” 18:30)
In the “Acid” episode, Samin makes fresh corn tortillas with Dona Asaria who tells her she makes between 200 and 250 tortillas every day. Samin asks her why she prefers to make them herself instead of going to town and Dona Asaria says, “We’re just used to eating them like this.” Can you even imagine how good those tortillas must taste? They look perfect.
8. When Samin tries that super-sour Melipona honey (“Acid,” 26:56)
One of my favorite things about the “Acid” episode is learning about all the different foods that you probably didn’t know were acidic — like honey. In the episode, Samin visits the town of Tixcacaltuyub, where she tries a variety of Melipona honey. One in particular, the Cephalotrigona Sexmenaie honey, catches Samin off-guard. “It’s hard to believe there’s not a lemon in there,” she exclaims. Can you imagine adding that to your boring desk salad in a vinaigrette? Or adding a drizzle to your cup of afternoon tea? Wild.
9. When Samin has the “private bite” of buttermilk chicken (“Heat,” 15:15)
If you’ve been following along with Kitchn’s cookbook club, then you might know that Samin’s buttermilk chicken is a very popular recipe from her cookbook. And with good reason — it’s probably the best roast chicken I’ve ever made. I love when Samin is making it in the “heat” episode and she talks about the “private bite” she has of the chicken before she serves it to her friends. I feel this on a very deep level.
10. When Samin flips the tahdig with her mom (“Heat,” 35:10)
In the final part of the “Heat” episode, Samin makes traditional tahdig with her mom. It was so fun to watch them interact and talk about the saltiness of the water for making rice, but the best part was when Samin turns the tahdig over after it’s done cooking. The tahdig breaks a little, and Samin and her mom rush to “fix” it and eat the spilled rice. Dear Netflix, please (pretty please) make a spin-off show of Salt Fat Acid Heat that is just Samin cooking with her mom. We deserve this.
What did I miss? What are your favorite moments from the show? Let’s hear ’em in the comments!