The One Ingredient Anthony 'Spice' Adams Can't Live Without - Exclusive

Anthony "Spice" Adams is known for heating things up on the football field, but when it comes to the kitchen, Spice doesn't immediately reach for hot ingredients. In an exclusive interview with Mashed, Spice revealed, "My nickname is 'Spice,' but I'm not a real spicy guy." 

He was speaking of Takis, the fiery hot, rolled tortilla chip snacks he is promoting as part of the "Hand on a Hot Drop" competition that Spice emceed, one of many food-based promotions he has been involved in since he retired from the NFL. Spice has also acted as host on the American adaptation of "The Great British Bake Off" – "The Great American Baking Show."

With all this on his plate, it's no surprise that Spice is a fan of cooking himself. Spice revealed to us his love of grilling. Of course, just because he doesn't immediately reach for the heat does not mean that Spice's kitchen is without a kick. In our interview, Spice revealed the one ingredient he can't live without.

The ingredient Spice can't live without

With the summer heat here, lots of people are breaking out their grills, Anthony "Spice" Adams included. During a discussion of Modelo recipes, Spice disclosed his enthusiasm for grilling chicken: "That's one thing that I'm looking forward to doing this summer."

But that begged the question: What does Spice put on his food when grilling? The answer is salt. But not just regular, everyday table salt — all kinds of salt. "One ingredient I can't live without is probably the different type of salts. You can use sea salt, you can use pink Himalayan salt, seasoning salt, there's all different ... You can use smoked salt. It's all types of salts that you can use. I will never not put salt on anything that I'm grilling."

Salt works to brighten flavor without overwhelming the food it is added to. Using gourmet salts can allow the cook to enhance those flavors further and bring a whole new taste to their food.

What to do with salt

With so many kinds of salt available today, it can be overwhelming to figure out what to do with them. The great thing is that salts can be dressed up or down and paired with just about anything. As Anthony "Spice" Adams points out, once you have the right salt for the dish, you are still open to just about anything without tastes clashing. "You can add everything else after that," he noted. 

In particular, he mentioned pairing salts with tangy, acidic fruits "like lemon or lime or pineapple." The pairing of salt and acid creates a perfect melding of flavors that are ideal for the grill — for example, this recipe for Quick Grilled Shrimp. The tangy and salty notes create a perfect flavor medley that doesn't get overshadowed by excessive heat from the spiciness.

With all that in mind, we know who has the best cookouts around. You can check out a recipe for one of Spice's favorites — beer can chicken — right here.