Salt adds the flavour of salt, of course

I saw an advert for some kind of stock cube yesterday, and part of the messaging for it was the idea that it “really brings out the flavour of beef”, which reminded me of the way people talk about salt.

“Ooh,” they say, “I always add salt,” they say, “It really brings out the flavour [of my cornflakes],” they say.

No it doesn’t, it adds the flavour of salt. If anything, adding the taste of salt to something slightly masks the flavour of whatever you’re adding it to. On account of the addition of salt taste, see.

Assuming that “brings out the flavour of X” means “makes the flavour of X more prominent” (which we are, because it does), how can adding something that doesn’t taste of beef to beef make the beef taste more of beef?

“Brings out the flavour,” honestly. It’s linguistic culinary madness.


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