Salt and pepper shakers and the number of holes

If you have a pair of salt and pepper shakers that don’t have “salt”, “pepper”, “S” or “P” on either one and are identical in every way except for the number of holes in the top, does the salt go in the one with fewer holes or in the one with more holes?

I’ve always done it one way, and my SO has always done it the other way, and now we’re wondering if there’s a commonly accepted standard way.

The salt should go in the one with the most holes. The pepper, having a more forceful flavor, should be used more sparingly.

I thought it was the opposite of Norinew, the logic being since pepper is black, you can see what you are putting on. Since salt is much harder to see, it should come out slower so as not to ruin the food. You can always add more salt (it’s bad for your heart anyway…)

My wife tells me that the pepper goes in the one with the fewer holes.

The distinction makes no sense to me either, but I’ve learned over the years not to question my wife on matters such as these…

And thus sums up the situation between myself (agreeing with norinew) and my SO (agreeing with Casey1505). <sigh>

It’s probably because salt granules are heavier (or more strictly have less air resistance) than ground pepper particles (?) so they fall out quicker.

That doesn’t sound quite right (about air resistance) however salt does generally pour out quicker than pepper.

OK I think I’ve got it now: salt is denser than pepper so a reasonably full shaker of salt will have more weight pushing the salt out than a reasonably full shaker of pepper, meaning the salt will come out quicker, meaning it needs less holes.

The traditional explanation I’ve heard is that people want more salt than pepper, so the salt goes in the one with more holes; however, now that we know that salt isn’t so good for you, and inability to stomach spicy food is a sign of weakness, the pepper goes in the one with more holes.

At least, that’s how it works in our house.

I was pretty sure the pepper went in the one with fewer holes. However, I just went and looked at my modest salt and pepper shaker collection, and it appears that pepper goes in the shaker with more holes. The basis of my conclusion is that in my Scotty dog set, the black dog has more holes in his head than the white dog. Also, in my King Kong (black) and Empire State Building (white) set, the same hole to color scheme holds true.

Get a pepper mill. End of hot-button topic. :slight_smile:

(Should we make fun of fizgig for basing his proof on the now-discredited Scotty Dog Principle? I’m surprised to see there’s still somebody working in the field who hasn’t achieved familiarity with the work of the Ikea/IHOP Laboratories, and the resulting Axiom of Ceramic/Plastic Shaker Equivalence. Just another effect of “condimental drift,” if you ask me.)

I thought it was common knowledge that since the salt comes out faster than the pepper, the salt goes in the shaker with the fewer holes.

Salt crystals are larger than black pepper flakes. An equal number of holes would be fine if the pepper shaker holes were smaller. Since it is more practical to manufacture with the same sized holes, the number of holes in the pepper shaker is reduced to provide (approx) equal number of condiment particles per shake.