Why add salt when cooking carbs?

Question: When I make boiled potatoes or pasta, I always add salt. I don't know, it's something I've heard somewhere that needs to be done, but why do I have to?

Answer: There were three reasons I could find why you'd add salt when boiling pasta/potatoes:

  • the first, to obtain a more refined taste
  • the second stated reason is to make water boil quicker, but it's not valid because sea water boils slower than tap/sweet water
  • the last reason is to counteract the stickiness bad quality starch has. Starch is a form of sugar (carb) which pasta and potatoes have and so, if you have bad pasta or potato powder, you might have bad quality starch. The solution here is to buy good quality ingredients for your food. 

Article, in Romanian, initially appeared in http://soundofscience.info Translated and edited with permission.

 

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