Seven Salts (or Eight)

updated with some costs, restated just exactly what expensive might mean and fixed a link

I like salt. Not too much, just the lots of different kinds of salt there are and what each does for a dish.
When we were at the apartment Paris I enjoyed walking into an everyday type supermarket and seeing loads of different sorts of salt on the shelf. Not just regular and "Easy Flow" but a whole bunch of different ones - - and apparently each has their own reason for existence.

¿Moi? I poked my head into the cupboard and discovered that I have seven different salts in there; plus one more in the bathroom; and I know there are a few I want that I don't have.

Left to right, top row first.

  1. Maldon Crystal Sea Salt - thin, flat, flakes of super delicious stuff that we use (we, as in professional kitchens) use on serious meats and salads. Beat regular salt all to.......gether.
    Goes for about $$25 a pound on Amazon.
  2. Sal Costa -fish salt. Here, we sometimes cook a whole fish completely covered in salt. The skin gets all crispy and the flesh stays wonderfully soft. This salt is really super large grained and it hardens up in the oven. You have to use a hammer or a great big serving spoon to crack the thing open.
    Inexpensive.
  3. Himalayan Salt. Expensive. Like 5 bucks a pound here, $15 on Amazon. Comes, as one might guess, from salt mines in the Himalayan mountains. Probably has some sort of new-age good for you properties. Mostly I use it on my muesli in the morning.
  4. Household (refined) fine salt. Don't actually use this very often. This particular one doesn't even have iodine or anything. Would be called Table Salt in many places but we never use it at the table.
    Cheap at about 50 cents a pound.
  5. Gordo. Big grained salt. The most common sort is know as Kosher Salt. This is the one I usually reach for when cooking. My fingers know, from experience, how much is the right amount.
    Cheap too.
  6. Fleur de sel - French. The top layer of naturally evaporated salt. Hand harvested by quaint hand maidens in romantic regions of France (or maybe not). A nice touch in a little pile on a plate next to the food. Sort of looks floury and is very very moist. Not actually very white but more a sort of gray colour.
    Pricey.
  7. Natural Sea Salt - I picked up at the local natural foods store. Evaporated in the sun, in southern Spain, using water from the Mediterranean Sea - - hopefully the water's been filtered and is not too contaminated. This is the day to day salt for the table.
    Maybe a buck.
  8. Atlantic Sea Salt - not pictured. (not that, what with the vague quality of the photo, that it makes much difference). Is in the bathroom and we use it in the bathtub. Was picked it up, personally, from a salt evaporating place on the island of Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands of Spain. We literally "picked it up" in that we got a plastic grocery bag from te car and scooped handfuls of it from the evaporation pools of a salt plant down there. And, if you're every looking for a nice place for a vacation Fuerteventura would be a good choice. Deserted, hard to access, western coastline and lots of more or less empty beaches. Good skinning dipping.
    Free.
So, that was sort of food related wasn't it?

1 comment:

Dezzi said...

Yeah...you sure that's salt? Just Kidding. That's pretty cool actually. I never knew salt was that interesting.