Skip to content

Spuds might get customer kicked out of restaurant

Joyce Walter reflects on dietary restrictions
Reflective Moments by Joyce Walter

Salt is not a welcome fixture in the kitchen of our marital home. Nor was it a friendly component in my parents’ cupboards.

Because of dietary concerns of several people in my family, the use of salt was/has either been curtailed or reduced to even less than a pinch as dictated in pioneer cookbooks.

Salt substitutes and other varieties of herbs and spices are used to add  an extra zip to the soup or stew and we manage to say we don’t miss the salty tingle on our tongues.

We do have a salt shaker in the cupboard but the contents require some poking with a toothpick before the grains of salt will filter out of the holes on the lid.

Housemate groans regularly about his diets which limit the salt additive in what he eats. He is particularly mournful when he eats radishes or green onions. At one time he would shake out a mound of salt onto a saucer and proceed to dip the vegetables liberally into the salt and exclaim with pleasure as he crunched and munched.

Eating in restaurants is occasionally a challenge but he is careful to try to do research in advance as to what percentage of his daily salt needs might be contained in a dish of lasagna or a favourite burger or fish burger at a fast food restaurant.

But it is the soup that sometimes surpasses one’s daily limitations. We love homemade soups but when they are made in our home, we don’t add salt. Soups made in-house in restaurants don’t come with a salt shaker on the side. Salt is already in the soup that comes to the table, and that’s just fine for folks whose tolerance is much higher than ours. As a result, we don’t order restaurant soup very often.

However, while reading an old cookbook one day, I came upon a way to remedy the high salt content in restaurant soup. I might get kicked out if I were to try it, but the solution involves potatoes. one or two small ones to be exact.

My old cookbook suggests peeling one or two small potatoes, cutting them into quarters and then adding to the salty soup. Next step is to boil them in the soup for five minutes before removing, and then allowing the soup to be tasted to judge the saltiness.

I can visualize how this will go in a restaurant: customer walks in, is seated and pulls out a sandwich bag containing the prepared potatoes. Asks for a sample of soup, tastes and then asks the server to take the potatoes, put them in a pot along with a bowl of soup, boil for five minutes, remove, pour soup into bowl and bring to customer.

At this point, or even before, the manager will likely escort the customer to the sidewalk, suggesting the potatoes go along out the door as well.

So, it might be safer and less embarrassing to try this potato trick at home after opening a container of chicken noodle soup or other varieties from the supermarket.

And don’t waste the potatoes. Sprinkle them with a salt substitute and pretend.

Joyce Walter can be reached at

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication. 




push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks