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Oh the holidays. It’s the time of gift-giving and cookies – all the cookies any sane person can eat. Between the gift exchanges, office parties and plain ol’ pig-out fests while catching up with friends, cookies are a holiday staple.

But we can almost guarantee that if you’ve been making homemade cookies, there’s a good chance you’ve been missing out on a key ingredient all these years: good old-fashioned salt. We know, it sounds completely counterintuitive, but as it turns out there’s a really good scientific reason to add a pinch of salt to any batch of delicious cookies. And we don’t mean before baking.

According to the video above, the No. 1 reason to add a pinch of salt to the top of your dozen before popping them in the oven is because sodium contains taste-enhancing qualities. It’s why we season pretty much everything we cook in the kitchen, whether sweet or savoury.

It breaks down like this: there are hundreds of thousands of taste receptor cells living on the tongue and in the intestine. Many of those cells activate when they’re touched by the sweet, sweet sugar in desserts. That’s why some of us crave sweets more than others. However, when we add a pinch of salt to that equation, suddenly many more cells that don’t normally activate become suddenly alert. It all works together in harmony to intensify the sugar in your mouth, throwing a little cookie party on your tongue.

And there you have it. A pinch of salt equals stronger, bolder flavours and actually does make everything taste better.

In moderation, of course. Something we probably all need to remind ourselves when faced with a platter of delicious cookies.