Salt Fat Acid Heat

TV review by
Marty Brown, Common Sense Media
Salt Fat Acid Heat TV Poster Image
Global-minded food show concentrates on the basics.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Two major messages are woven throughout: First, that good cooking only requires dedication and a willingness to learn from one's mistakes. Second, that food connects people in profound and meaningful ways, in both small groups like the dinner parties that host Samin Nosrat throws, or large, like the diverse cultures she visits (Japan, Italy, the Yucatán, etc.).

Positive Role Models & Representations

In addition to being a culinary luminary herself, host Samin Nosrat is respectful and curious, both with her peers and with people from other cultures.

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism

Contains typical amount of product placement for a food show: names of restaurants and tourist destinations, plenty of brand-name ingredients and alcohol with labels facing camera.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

No drugs or smoking present. Frequent alcohol consumption, but no one drinks to excess.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Salt Fat Acid Heat is a food show based on host Samin Nosrat's popular cookbook of the same name. There's some cooking instruction throughout, but the show is mostly interested in how those four elements -- salt, fat, acid, and heat -- show up in cuisine from different cultures. For example, Nosrat travels to Italy to learn about olive oil in the episode on fats; Japan to learn about sea salt in the episode about salt; etc. Because of this (and because Nosrat is multilingual!), a lot of the content is subtitled. As with many other food shows, alcohol is frequently consumed as part of the meal, and there's a lot of product placement for food items and alcohol.

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What's the story?

Based on host Samin Nosrat's popular cookbook of the same name, each episode of SALT FAT ACID HEAT focuses on a single one of those basic elements. Nosrat travels to exotic locales to learn about different types of ingredients (e.g., for the episode on fat, she goes to Italy to learn about olive oil and cheese), visits chefs to talk about cooking techniques, and spends some time making dishes in her own kitchen with friends.

Is it any good?

More inspiration than instruction, Samin Nosrat's series (based on her popular cookbook of the same name) often feels more like National Geographic than a typical food show. Though Nosrat does spend some time talking viewers through some of the techniques and decisions chefs make -- like how to pick a steak, or where to cook it on the grill -- Salt Fat Acid Heat is primarily interested in the culture of food. It's a revelation to see her travel to places off the beaten path, like a village in Mexico that makes sour honey from friendly bees, and illuminate the connections between such different cultures, simply by talking about some of the elements of food and cooking that people tend to take for granted. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about food. Why do you think Nosrat cares so much about food, and especially these four elements: salt, fat, acid, and heat? Do you take any of those things for granted? Does this show make you think differently about any of them?

  • How do the places Nosrat visits differ from your home? How does food affect those places and those cultures? Did anything surprise you? 

  • Does any of the food on Salt Fat Acid Heat inspire you? Is there anything you'd like to try, or try to make?

TV details

For kids who love food

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