Salt and pepper are two savored condiments found on dinner tables in many homes and restaurants. However, just because these spices are commonplace, that does not imply that the containers or shakers used to hold the grains for easy pouring are the same. Some manufacturers design salt and pepper shakers for simplicity and functionality, while other designs are fancy and complement the kitchen and restaurant decor. If you have a physical hindrance, such as vision impairment, however, these myriad designs can make it difficult for you to differentiate between the two spices. Fortunately, you can use a few techniques to identify common table salt and ground black pepper by the shaker.
Spot the difference between salt and pepper by looking through the containers if they are transparent.
Feel the weight of the salt and pepper shakers in your hands. Salt generally weighs more than pepper when the shakers are filled to the same level.
Rub your fingertips across the top of the shakers. Generally, the salt grains need larger holes for pouring, compared to smaller holes for powdery pepper.
Shake the containers and listen to the sounds. Large and rock-like salt grains might sound "loose" and louder when hitting the walls of the shaker, compared to finer and lighter pepper dust.
If you don't have health or allergy issues with salt or pepper, consider pouring a small amount in a spoon and tasting a sample to determine the difference.
Consider purchasing Braille salt and pepper shakers for those who are visually impaired.
Consult with your personal physician if you have medical issues with salt and pepper. See your occupational therapist if you have vision impairment and need advise on identifying salt and pepper.
Common table salt has a finer grain than kosher and "sea" salts. Therefore, a teaspoon of table salt contains more salt than kosher and sea salts (see Resources below).
Another way of rendering black pepper is to grind whole peppercorns in a pepper mill. Therefore, shaking the container to differentiate between salt and pepper by sound may not always yield accurate results.
- Wisconsin Department of Health Services: Tips for Living With Low Vision
- Vision Aware: Hints for Easier Eating and Pouring
- National Institutes of Health: News in Health: The Salty Stuff
- American Foundation for the Blind: Mealtime
- American Foundation for the Blind: Braille Sper Salt and Pepper Shaker Set
- Food Network: Kosher vs. Table vs. Sea Salts
- Celtic Sea Salt: Pepper