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Salts of the Earth


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Home Cooking

Salts of the Earth

Caroline1 | | Nov 2, 2010 10:40 PM

Do you play with them? Fascinated by them? Couldn't care less? I have a few and I find them kind of fun. Well, fun when I remember them. Most often they sit on the shelf and stare down at me. But there are times when they add sparkle and interest.

I have some black flake salt that is very interesting when scattered across glazed cauliflower or any pale food. It's nearly invisible on beets, but put it on mashed potatoes and it will catch your eye! Not too shabby on corn on the cob either. BIG (for salt) black flakes that demand attention. And get it!

Then there is the gorgeous red salt from Hawaii. It might be the color playing games with my taste buds, but I think this is the most interesting salt when it comes to unique flavor. It seems "fuller" than the other salts, but as I said, it could be my imagination. But hey, don't discount the placebo effect. If it lights your fire, glow!

I have some smoked salt. Alderwood, to be precise. I don't think I'll eve buy smoked salt again simply because you have no way to change the equation between smokiness and saltiness. If you want more smoke, you have to have more salt. I think I'll just go back to liquid smokes and kosher salt. That puts the balance in my hands.

I have some sea salt from Japan with a VERY high moisture content. It just tastes salty. And I have some Utah Basin salt with brownish flecks in it. I have no idea whether the flecks taste different than the regular white salt crystals, but it can produce an interesting confetti look on vegetables. I don't have any of that Himalayan pink salt that comes in slabs. I think it would be interesting to have a chunk to heat in the oven, then cook things on and see how salty they are after cooking. But you can't put it in the dishwasher to clean it, and where do you store a big slab of salt, and what if somebody drops it? But I did see an ad on line the other day for a "salt grater" that comes with a chunk of rock salt to grate your own at the table. I think I'll stick with a salt grinder.

If I could only have one kind of salt, I would stick with plain old fashioned kosher salt. It's the most versatile, as well as the lowest "salt" content. Hey, same salty flavor, less sodium? What could be better than that!

Do you play with salt? Do you have a favorite? Or do you think it's all a bunch of silliness to get people to plunk down their money for salts you can't tell apart if you're blindfolded? As for me, I think being hooked on salt is better than being hooked on something illegal... '-)

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