Remember that “sugar and spice and everything nice” thing? I think salt may be the nice part to which they were referring. Salt can showcase and squelch certain flavors within food, such as curbing bitterness and reducing sweetness. It can also make dishes multi-dimension in flavor. There are many types of salt. So which do we choose?
Kosher salt is a flaky, coarse, large grain salt that produces a blast of flavor and dissolves quickly – the perfect salt for all-purpose cooking.
Sea salt is harvested from evaporated sea water containing minerals including zinc, potassium and iron, which provide a more complex flavor. This salt is great for sprinkling on foods.
Celtic sea salt or grey salt is harvested from the tidal ponds off the coast of France. Offering a briny taste, this salt is perfect on fish as a cooking or finishing salt.
Fleur de sel, nicknamed the caviar of salts due to its limited nature and subsequent expense, is paper thin salt crystals which can only be harvested with wooden rakes on sunny days with a slight breeze (not kidding). A dash is delightful on chocolate.
Kala namak, preferred for many vegetarian dishes, is fired in a furnace with charcoal, herbs, seeds and bark, then cooled and aged, resulting in a reddish-blackish salt with a pungent taste.
Himalayan pink salt, one of the purest forms of salt in the world, is harvested by hand from the Himalayan Mountains. Rich in minerals and elements found within the human body, this salt is used in spa treatments as well as in the kitchen!
Hawaiian black salt, gathered off the volcanic islands of Hawaii, is coarse, crunchy and perfect for finishing pork. Hawaiian red salt, collected from Hawaii’s volcanic clay area is perfect for dishes like poke.
Smoked salt, which is slow roasted on hickory, mesquite, apple or other flavorful wood fires, is delicious on potatoes.
There are also pickling salts which possess an anti-caking element and are devoid of the iodine in other salts that can cause food discoloration.
You can purchase salt and spices at Houseware Warehouse, a kitchen supply wholesaler definitely worth its salt!