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10 types of Salt you have to try

The gourmet salt market is so cleared through customs as paradoxically unknown. For years now there is a plethora of proposals for alternative salts, of every color and texture, now also available in the most common supermarkets. Yet I see in general a little critical analysis regarding this, people make do with the two or three banal and boring commercial products 2:00 to 3:00 of whom we never can see the contribution. Because let’s face it, if you expect that the various types of salt are able to upset the flavor of our dishes you’ll be disappointed.

What will never change from the common salt that we see in the table since we were kids? Salt is nothing particularly complicated, simply a set of crystals formed by sodium and chlorine that if ingested in the right measure play a fundamental role in the life since the dawn of time. Think for example that it is a substance indispensable to our brain to send electrical impulses through which communicates with the rest of the body. What can never have more then that the gourmet salts? What changes it is the fact that the normal table salt is an unnatural product, reduced in practice to only sodium, refined and cleaned by trace elements and often with added anti-caking agents that help him not absorb moisture and consolidate into a single tile. The gourmet salts have a greater characterization being rich in trace minerals and impurities that constitute their real added value. This can already make you understand what can be the contribution to our cuisine you can expect.

For what is my experience, I have distinguished three basic roles in this sense:

Minerality

compared to common table salt, no refining takes place here. The mineral component remains unchanged, and of course the amount and the present composition depends on the origin and the original concentration. It happens so that different salts can give different shades minerals that make them more or less suitable to an use. In this sense I would like to quote the famous Red Salt of Hawaii, which owes its color to the high presence of iron, tending to oxidation. And it’s an absurd cliché that this type of salt should be matched with the meat, a food itself already very rich in iron. I’m thinking in particular to a pairing with an Uruguayan Angus well known for their own distinctive ferrous taste. To identify what could be the contribution in terms of mineral of salts is the first element of discernment so to be able to enhance it at best.

Saltiness

It may seem an obvious concept but it is not. If you tried to add saltiness for example with the Salt of the Himalayas you have noticed how it salts less than the common table salt. Each salt has its own degree of “pungency”, savory intensity that can be more or less marked and which can be chosen as an element through which emphasize the characteristics of your plate. What are you salting? A mix of boiled beef cuts, a grilled sea bass grilled or a Fassona’s Carpaccio? So what misure you need your salt enhances the flavor of your dish at every bite?

Consistency

The “body” through which the salt present itself, adds an additional element of completion to the dish. It can be more or less humid and therefore remain more or less compact on food. Or it can have more or less consistent grains or even a three-dimensionality and yielding a more or less accentuated. Examples of this may be the famous Salt Maldon, with a “flaky texture” able to add a mechanical perception as well as savory bite, remaining intact even in contact with the food moods. Or the equally known Salt Kosher by the more consistent grain size as more suitable to act as a coadjuvant of the Jewish slaughter, which provides for the absorption of all the blood from the carcasses before one can proceed to the cutting.

A distinction that helps us understand what to expect from a salt is the production method, whereby we distinguish

Evaporation Salt. Made from seawater evaporated naturally in the sun of saline or mechanically to obtain the residual.

Mine Salt. Fossil salt extracted from mines. It is the most pure and rich of trace minerals

Enriched Salt. Are salts whose gastronomic contribution involves a natural flavoring process. Examples include smoked salts or those added in charcoal or even those steeped with spices.

Once clarified the concept, I can go ahead with making a list of those in my opinion are the ten types you definitely have to try and on what. You will notice easily that lack many illustrious names but I have to confess regarding salt to have been moved more often by outsiders.

Ciprus Black Salt
Sale Nero CiproThe Cyprus salt typically has as one of Maldon, a three-dimensional structure, in this case pyramidal. Personally I prefer it to its most famous (and expensive) counterpart for his greater consistency and its more intense flavor. Among the various versions I particularly like the black, rich in charcoal of the volcanic area from which it is derived. I find it perfect for steaks, on which fully retains its structure, giving a pungent flavor and a light and pleasant bitter smell. I do not even disdain it on eggs and fish.

Viking Salt
sale vichingoOne of the more special salts that I have ever try. It belongs to the Scandinavian tradition of smoking salt and then soaking for weeks in a barrel along with a mixture of spices, among which I could definitely recognize the cinnamon and cloves. The result is a salt of the kind “you hate it or you love it”, from strongly camphor notes and incense. I personally love it on salmon

Chardonnay Salt
Sale ChardonnayI tasted for the first time years ago when I was selecting the products for different purpose and it was love at first sight. It ‘a California smoked salt that is left to rest in the exhausted barrels used for Chardonnay. The look is moist and the fine grains. It is not particularly savory but is very aromatic. Unsurpassed on all shellfish and fish in general.

Sweet Salt from Utah
Sale UtahI find that the name is the very penalizing. It really has nothing sweet and is called this way because the full body with rounded and polished pink reflections almost reminds candy sugar. Very delicate and little else to report to be honest, but its special structure that I find makes it perfect for soups and velvety, in which despite nestled perfectly maintains its structure, while becoming pliable, giving the peaks of flavor to each spoonful.

Grey Salt of Guerande
Sale GuerandeIt ‘a salt harvested with traditional methods on the Atlantic coast of France. It has a very balanced flavor and its most interesting feature is the great minerality which owes gray color. I find it wonderful with grilled vegetables, especially those more delicate but I also don’t disdain it with the fish from bones.

Pyramidal Bali Salt
Sale BaliProduced on the island from which it takes its name, with an ancient craft as a complex process that includes natural drying phases in bags, on bamboo woods. The special feature is its structure, by the almost conical shape, concave and a soft, almost sweet flavor. Perfect for creams and sauces to be served on the plate, on which the salt of Bali has the characteristic of floating.

Kala Namak Salt
Kala NamakIt comes from the Himalayas, as the most famous pink salt. It too has a dark pink, almost purple color and a powdery consistency. It has an aroma and a very particular taste, which have to like, vaguely sulfurous, which remind me of the hard-boiled egg yolk. I tried it on baked food as breadsticks and Focaccia, following a suggestion that I found on the net and I have to say that it goes well on them.

Green Salt of Hawaii
Sale Verde HawaiiI do not like very much the salts of hawaii to be honest. I had never found anything special in them. The green one, however, is a something very special. It ‘a sea salt from the round grain, mixed with bamboo leaves during drying period. The mix is really unique, intense and spicy. I like it with seafood and fish in general.

Taketsumi Salt
sale takesumiIt ‘a black salt originally produced with a secret recipe by Buddhist monks, closing it inside the bamboos and burning it slowly for hours. I tasted only once at a friends house and then looking at the network intrigued I later discovered to be one of the most expensive salt in the world. Fine grain and very mineral taste, particular sensation in your mouth that I can not describe. I had tried in that case on oysters and I must say it was an experience.

Alaska Pure
Alaska PureIt ‘a salt produced by drying the water just below the Arctic Circle. Again, unfortunately, I can say that I tasted only once, on my first trip to the US. The grains are very fine, much more than it may appear from the photo shown here, white and crystalline, with an intense and pungent flavor. The I had tasted in a restaurant on chocolate after dinner, then discovering later being a classic combination for this type of salt.

If understood and valued, the salt world is able to give some beautiful emotions and really does not deserve to be limited to the usual three or four types. You say, I put a little ‘of salt on your curiosity?

Sources:
energytraining.it
cibo360.it
naturalsal.it
blog.giallozafferano.it

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