Anyone who has shared a meal with my father, sister, and me (and paid attention) will be somewhat surprised that I would consider salt to be one of my favorite things (see the first post in this series here). While it is true that I do not pile it on everything I eat, salt can make or break a dish. But what I love most about salt (and why it makes this list) is my salt collection.
Yes, I have a salt collection.
It started innocently enough, with lovely little jar of sea salt my friend Amy brought me when she came back from a trip to Maine.
I liked it a lot, because it was a very thoughtful gift, and I put it on my table to replace the faux Sea Salt Grinder I had gotten tired of. (**note: The actual Sea Salt grinder I bought from Trader Joes had broken, so I poured the salt into an unused pepper grinder. It worked, but only so-so.) This sea salt is not too fine and not too coarse. You can tell it is there, but it doesn’t add a crunch.
Then around Christmas last year, Ian’s parents gave us a sampler of six French Sea Salts. They were all in bags, but they also gave us little jars to put them in.
From left to right, the salts are: Fleur de Sel de Guérande, Fumee de Sel (smoked Fleur de Sel), Tamise de Guérande, Velvet de Guérande, Sel Gris Fine, and Sel Gris Course. All of these salts are from Guérande in France, which is considered by many to be the best place for sea salt in the world. My favorite is the Tamise de Guérande, which has an interesting flavor and slightly coarse texture. Ian’s favorite is the Velvet de Guérande, which is a super fine grey sea salt. The smoky Fumee de Sel is also quite nice in certain dishes. I particularly like it with root vegetables.
I also just got a new salt in the Easter Basket Ian’s parents gave us.
I haven’t tried this one yet, and I still need to find it a jar, but I am looking forward to it.
Unless I am going for something in particular, however, I just use these salts for finishing at the table. For cooking, I usually use Kosher Salt.
Because the box is so big, and the mouth is wide, I keep a small amount in a plastic container and refill it as necessary.
Just so you don’t think I am salt snob, I do have a regular container of Morton’s salt.
I often use this in baking, because the crystals are regularly sized (for even distribution) and it is easy to measure.
There are still a few salts I would like to own.
Salt Wish List
- Pink Himalayan Salt (brick form)
- Hawaiian Black Salt
- Hawaiian Red Salt
- Kala Namak (Indian Black Salt)
- Maldon Sea Salt
- Peruvian Pink Salt
- Or if you win the lottery and want to buy me a present
Anyone else know of any interesting salts I need to try?
If you are interested in learning more about salt, read this book:
Salt: A World History, by Mark Kurlansky. It actually extremely interesting and a great read.