"Until it tastes like the sea"

LOL. Deja vu all over again. Small aitch remembers what I’ve posted better than me.

I grew up not more than a handful of miles from the sea. I’ve been a sailor most of my life and have logged a lot of ocean miles. I own a beach house. Despite that, I’ve never thought the sea tasted good. Seafood on the other hand, properly seasoned is lovely.

Also one other thing I learned is that the hemoglobin of most shellfish is clear. That oyster or clam liquor we slurp is their body fluids. Wouldn’t seem to be as nearly attractive if their hemoglobin was red like ours. If you ever come across blood clams, you will know what I mean. The first time I saw one, I had to pause for a while before eating. Was great. I also love blood pudding, sausage, boudin.

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The phrase is used by a lot of the writers in the NY Times.

I do not follow “media chefs” whose recipes I do not like.

A media chef does not exist without publicity, if you do not like a recipe, instead of discussing it, why not tout your own recipe?

If enough people ignore something I have not heard of, maybe it will go away.

Lovely post.

I’m an Iowa farm boy who at the age of 20 fell in love with the ocean particularly between SF and Gualala … Drakes Bay, Tomales Bay, Bodega Bay, Russian River, and Sea Ranch. Unfortunately I’m on a Minnesota lake now.


Ocean water in my mouth was given as a kid. Sand in my swimsuit was a different matter.


Maybe in NY; water is great for bagels and pizza, but for cooking pasta, the water needs salt.

Do people in NY taste the sea? What if you live next to the East River.

I live next to the East River, and I don’t understand your question.

Also unpleasant. Usually came from sitting in the surf and letting the waves crash over you. Which is a lot of fun! Until it’s not.

If you drew pasta water from the East River, would add salt?

Depends on the time of day. The East River is an estuary, so I think it’s saltier at some times than others.

NOAA has data about the salinity line. Less so about the pollution. I certainly wouldn’t cook with water from the East River unless run through a reverse-osmosis watermaker.

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And I wouldn’t cook from it because I have running water in my apartment and don’t need to. But that wasn’t the question. The question was whether, having already decided to cook East River water, I would salt it.

Ah. I lost track. Even with high flow rates from the Hudson and a North wind I suspect it’s already pretty salty. Below Hell Gate it’s always salty.

The salinity of the oceans has risen somewhere around 4% over the last 50 years. I’ve had enough Gulf water in my mouth over the years and no I don’t salt water until it taste like the sea but until it has a noticeable amount of salt

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The East River is completely tidal. No freshwater. My understanding of the Hudson is that the tidal flows basically make it salt water to about where the GW is. Depending on the season, brackish water can be found as far north as the Tappen Zee. Don’t know about the Harlem River. Could be brackish or saltwater also depending on tides and season. But in any event if for some reason you wanted to cook with water from the East River, you would need to dilute it with fresh water if cooking pasta. If on the other hand you wanted to boil a lobster, no worries. I often see people fishing in the East River just off the FDR past 96th St. I have a book about fishing in the waters around the City. Reminds me that stripper season is coming. Need to bring some rods from the beach and try some fishing in the city. With all the parks now lining the water, access is easier.

Yes, the clubs should start reopening once more people are vaccinated!


I went looking for the NOAA charts. Couldn’t find them but I’ll keep looking. My personal experience based on spray over the rail is that the salinity lines (where ocean salt falls eventually to brackish and then to fresh) move North and South with rain, river flow, and wind direction on the East River just like other estuaries (Chesapeake Bay, Long Island Sound, Puget Sound, San Fransisco Bay, etc.). Coming through Hell Gate from LIS to NY Harbor I’ve more than once had well less than ocean salinity spray. Sometimes it’s like being offshore.

Some of the NOAA hydrologic buoys (the big yellow ones) as well as shore stations measure salinity. I just need the right Google search to find the graphs.

I’ve seen many TV chefs say that. It’s BS- I clearly remember my nephew as a toddler getting mouthfuls of seawater and throwing it right back up. My theory is that it’s the push back to recipes that call for a half tablespoon of salt for a pound of pasta. That too is BS. I add a good handful, and I’ve gone so far as to taste it- nowhere near seawater. But I’m annoyed as hell by the chefs who tell you to do that. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen Bobby Flay say that.

Pasta too?

Good point, ipse.