Monday, November 2, 2009

And a sprinkling of MSG

I'm just going to come out and say it: I've been unknowingly adding MSG to my food for the past few months, thinking it was salt. We are talking a sprinkle here there and every fucking where and it all came to a head last night when I was slaving over some meatballs and a hot stove, not my usual position on a Sunday night. The beau tasted the red sauce I had made and then wanted to know where the salt was. When I indicated that it was right in front of him and he continued to look around I said it again, getting a little impatient. That's when the ball dropped. This isn't salt, it's ajinomoto, he said and wanted to know how much I had used and where was the damn salt. That is the fucking salt and I've been using it as such for ages, trying to keep my tone from going shrill. Nope. Fuck me.

I also couldn't explain why I hadn't looked at the label when using it. Why would I look? The beau bought it when we were running out of salt, it looks exactly like the salt bottle, why would I read the label? The beau was shocked and incredulous that I hadn't at least discovered it's non-salt like quality after tasting some of the many dishes I had made with it but no, my whitie palate is obviously not delicate enough to distinguish the ajinomoto, or essence of taste, from plain old salt. Nope, I just thought, MMMmm MSG. So I did what I always do when facing this kind of situation, I told the beau he should get himself a Japanese girlfriend who won't have these kinds of issues. I consider my lesson learned but it didn't stop me from blubbering on the kitchen floor while the beau ran out for salt and beer.

7 comments:

Jen in Japan said...

So I read this post with a sense of dread and yup as soon as I checked my "salt" I discovered the same thing. In my defense at the time of purchase I only spoke Japanese well enough to recognize the word salt. Otherwise the salt taste might have tipped me off.

Either way, you are not alone in this mistake. I've been sprinkling it on my boiled egg for breakfast every morning for months and never noticed the difference.

Julie said...

Haha, I know exactly what brand you mean. The logo is red, right? At first, I thought it was salt, too. When my friend saw it in the grocery cart, he said "Why do you need that?" and told me what it really was.

Alicia said...

It's an understandable mistake. I learned to take notice of what the content in the Ajinomoto looks like so that I don't use it when I'm cooking in someone else's kitchen.

Sarah said...

I too made the exact same mistake. It was in the kitchen when I moved in, in a very salt-ish looking container, on the shelf beside the pepper. What else would it be?? Ooops...

JPT said...

Look on the bright side. Some people are quite allergic to MSG. Now you know that you're not one of them. :)

Green-Eyed Geisha said...

I'm pleased to announce I made pasta tonight with salt!!! (Although not before automatically reaching for the MSG...)

Jen in Japan: Sorry to have been the bearer of bad news. The shape of the flakes should have tipped me off!

Julie: Exactly the same! Now my real salt has an almost identical bottle...

Alicia: That's a good idea. I take them time to read stuff on labels here if I'm using something for the first time but I will be more diligent from now on!

Sarah: How did you eventually figure it out?

JPT: Haha that is one good thing to come out of this! Let's hope I don't allergy-test my way through any other kitchen items...

Lisa said...

Favorite story ever! Just think of all of the sodium you saved yourself from eating.

Now, to check the bottle of salt I bought in Japan on my last trip...