shaking salt vs. pepper - the hole story?

Well, I beg to differ. This side of the Atlantic, the convention is for the salt shaker to have just one hole (often more of a nozzle) and the pepper shaker to have many small ones, and I thought this was universal.

I was born in 1949, before doctors started telling high blood pressure patients to cut back on salt. There was no doubt at all that people wanted more salt than pepper, so the salt always had more holes. Note that in the 50s in white-bread central Indiana, very few people were adventurous with spices. A woman who had been cooking a really long time was one who had started her second bottle of Tabasco sauce.

Now that folks are spicier, and some are afraid of salt :rolleyes: the original order is often reversed. If you find old-fashioned collectable shakers in a garage sale, the ones marked S and P will have more holes in the S, usually.

You’re all crazy. Salt goes in the shaker with the LARGEST holes, not the MOST holes. Some of my shaker sets have the same number of holes, but different sizes.

And standard consumer salt has larger grains than standard consumer ground pepper, so larger holes are necessary to avoid clogging. At least that’s my theory for a lifetime.

But I ignore the pepper shaker, as it doesn’t dispense fast enough. I love pepper and I avoid much salt. Maybe I should switch 'em, but that would just confuse everyone.

One hole and two holes?

Two holes and three holes?

Uh, how about Lev’s option C. Get your teeny drill bit out and make about 15 more holes in each one. Make the holes in the pepper shaker bigger. I can’t stand pepper shakers which don’t work, and more than once at a restaurant I’ve just unscrewed the darn top.

Not afraid of salt, but hardly use the stuff; been married fifteen years and we’re about three quarters of our way through our second 750g tub of table salt (and I think the previous one was thrown away before it was empty when we moved house).

Of course a lot of salt enters our diet in other ways such as salted snacks, stock cubes, bacon, etc, but we hardly use table salt at all.

To corroborate Mangetout’s posts, my British-heritage family always had salt shakers with one hole and pepper shakers with many. Until we got proper grinders for both, of course.

I’m from the one big hole = salt school too. My folks used to pour a little pile at the side of their plates at the start of their meal. The big hole was good for that.

And I’ll echo the many others who say grinder particularly for pepper - the dusty stuff is horrible. A little box of flakes is better than a grinder for salt.

Salt goes in the cellar. Pepper goes in the grinder.

There may be some historical reason for large flow of salt, and low for pepper. My WAG: Salt was used for its preservative qualities before refrigeration and the people were used to a much higher level of salt in their food, and needed a high salt flow rate. Pepper along with other spices used to be expensive, and just a bit was used, usually to offset the taste of slightly rotten foods.

When low sodium became the fad I recall people make the suggestion to switch the salt and pepper, so the salt would have less of a flow rate (less holes).

I personally like to know which shaker is which either by color, letters as pointed out by the OP, or symbols, or see thru containers. But I also am a big fan of fresh pepper, so that differentiates itself too. I haven’t really seen the point of table salt grinders however.

Agree with kanicbird.

30-40 years ago, most people (asmericans at least) would use a tablespoon of salt before they’d use a 3 grains of pepper.

Nowadays the fashion is almost reversed.

This assumes that the salt and pepper can be dispensed at the same speed. That’s the fallacy here. As Musicat wrote:

Um. Yeah. That would be because you have pepper in the one with not enough holes. If you were to use the one with more holes, you’d actually get some pepper.

Preach on brother!

I conclude: the “proper” way is for the shaker with more holes to have the salt. However, those who like pepper more than salt (or who think that we use too much salt anyway) do the reverse. I’m sorry, but the wishy-washy attitude evinced in this thread does not cut the mustard. This is the kind of thing that needs to be legislated by the federal government. I will be writing to my representative forthwith.

In my case, the happy ending is that my wife painted a very nice stylized S and P on our shakers. She put the S on the one with two holes and the P on the one with three holes.