I know good salt when I taste it, like that crunchy, flaky, sea salt or specialty salts with hints of truffle or garlic. The smoked salt in this picture smells like the inside a barbecue pit. Last night we tried a little of the Hawaiian red salt in a tossed broccoli and chickpea salad. It was great, but here is where the subtleties of salt get daunting. I mean when you enter the zone of red, pink, gray and black salts it is hard to know when to use which salt. It's a place where all white sea salts are not the same. All of a sudden my culinary universe has grown. Do I start with a row of tiny bowls and a caviar spoon? How do I know which salt is best for which dish?
As you can see I am still very new to the wide world of salt but here is what I have learned so far.
- Hawaiian Red Alaea Salt gets its name and color from Alaea volcanic clay. It is used in Hawaii to preserve meat, flavor pork at a luau and in a raw fish appetizer called poke.
- Sea salt does not actually have less sodium than table salt but because of its size and flavor, one tends to use less. See here and also here.
- Black and pink salts tend to have a more mineral or sulfurous taste.
- Fleur de sel is sea salt harvested on the western central coast of France.
- Whole foods has a good beginners salt guide. Click here.
- If you live in NY go to Oil, Vinegar and Salt in Chelsea Market for and amazing selection of salts (as seen in pictures above and below.
- Try smoked salt on Spanish mackerel because it is awesome!
Tell me more about salt. I would love to here what you know.