Vegetable stock and salt rant

Just a quick rant this evening about stock cubes and just how much salt is packed into them. If we assume for the moment that I can’t be bothered to make my own vegetable stock using vegetables and water, then you’ll appreciate the need for a, erm, stock of dehydrated stock powder, that’s ready to use when you want a nice sage and shallot risotto to put with your grilled salmon and vichy-style kale.

I’ve tried a few over the years and most seem to substitute salt for actual flavour. I’m not going anywhere near the cheaper own-brands, but some of the worst offenders are also the most popular brands, for example, Oxo’s vegetable stock cubes are either 17% or 35% salt, depending upon how you read the ingredients. Agreeing with Delia, I used to be a fan of Marigold’s Swiss vegetable bouillon powder (17% salt), but unless you get the low-salt version (10% salt) it left me wanting a pint of water by the time I was through. Which is a shame because Marigold has a really good flavour and it’s packaged loosely in tubs so you can just add a pinch of it here and there as necessary. But I digress, I think that any stock powder that lists salt as its first ingredient is just not trying hard enough.

Which is why I’m glad that I tripped over Kallo’s Very Low Salt stock cubes with, and I counted it twice, no added salt. Yep, all the taste and none of the heart attacks. Unfortunately it comes at a premium, Ocado list them at £1.25 for six, enough for three litres of stock, whereas the Marigold is £1.40 for twice as much.

I don’t get through that much of it, so I don’t mind paying whatever price Sainsbury are charging at the time, but if you’re thinking ahead then Amazon comes to the rescue.