Do You Use Specialty Salts in the Kitchen?

| 7/1/2009 10:08:51 AM

Are you a fan of pink, grey or brown salt? What about red sea salt or smoked salts? When do you use specialty salts, and why? Got any recipes to share? Here are some of my favorite salts:

sea salts

Grey Sea Salt is unrefined, still a bit moist, usually hand-harvested, and contains trace minerals from the sea because it hasn't been processed. And you can really taste the minerals. It's a bit like drinking mineral water, and you'll love it! I always use far less grey sea salt than I would any other kind of salt, because its flavor is pretty potent. One of the best things I ever tasted was half of a baked Kobucha squash, dotted with grey sea salt and cultured butter, and eaten with a spoon! (A brand I really like is Celtic Sea Salt.)

* Gomasio is a mixture of sesame seeds and sea salt, and is a staple in Japanese kitchens. Frequently, I use black sesame seeds and also mix in dried garlic. You can buy gomasio ready-made, or mix your own to save a little money. This is my all-purpose seasoning blend; I use it in just about everything.

* Lemon Zest Salt is a blend I make myself with coarse sea salt and the zest of lemons (or sometimes other citrus fruits, especially grapefruit). The zest perfumes the whole blend, and the flavor is delicate and really just special. My favorite use for lemon salt is over grilled asparagus.

* Herbed Salt is another easy-to-make blend. Finely chop a small amount of herbs, blend with sea salt, and use on anything savory. Fresh rosemary salt is particularly intoxicating.

1/28/2010 5:59:19 PM

We love salish. It is an incredible alder smoked sea salt. It sells well in our market located on our small vegetable farm. Customers pair it with our vegetables, perfect for grilling zuchinni and fish.

9/15/2009 4:39:55 PM

So, yes, if it's kosher salt or pickling salt it's going to be plain salt, without iodine or other things. Pickling salt will be a finer grind, kosher salt tend to be a coarse grind. I never substitute them in baking bacuse most recipies are built around the standard table salt grine and the ground will make a big difference in the baked good. But sea salts should have more minerals and taste because of the additional bits that end up with the salt. They do add a different flavor profile. But, typically, I just use good old coarse ground kosher salt for most cooking apps and plain old regular ground table salt for baking. Honestly, "designer" salts are just too pricy for me to splurge for a sea salt beyond the bulk food bin and even that I usually save for seafood dishes where I really want that briny "sea" flavor to be highlighted.

8/2/2009 8:59:28 PM

I sell Celtic Sea Salt and I rarely eat any other type of salt. Mr. Horse Hockey should try things before he claims to be an expert. Sodium is what you normally buy at the grocery store....yes, it is salt. Not good salt, nor good for you. Natural salts are good for you and since your body requires salt to survive, why not use the best? Use coarse smoked salt if you are making caramels. To die for.

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