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Best Salt.

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

Hi All,

 

Had this discussion with a few fellow foodies but wanted your opinion...

 

What is the best salt to use to season dishes?

 

Ive heard this stuff is the way to go:

 

 

I guess some of you may think i'm crazy but my pallete definitely picks up different types of salt so I would like to best for my cooking.

 

Feel free to fire away with the "Salt is salt you crazy fool" rants. Heh heh.

 

Cheers!

post #2 of 26
I only use Maldon or Fleur de Sel.
post #3 of 26

For finishing I like to use Maldon, or a French knock-off if I must.  ;)

 

For seasoning when cooking... Morton Kosher.

 

For baking... Morton plain granulated.

 

I've used Himalayan Pink but don't really find it worthwhile.  Same with Indian Black.

post #4 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianShaw View Post
 

For finishing I like to use Maldon, or a French knock-off if I must.  ;)

 

For seasoning when cooking... Morton Kosher.

 

For baking... Morton plain granulated.

 

I've used Himalayan Pink but don't really find it worthwhile.  Same with Indian Black.

 

Same.  I also like finishing meats with sel gris as an alternative to Maldon.  Diamond Crystal is also a restaurant standard.  I find 'boutique' salts bogus, so I won't waste my rants on such silly things.

post #5 of 26

I like Fleur de sel or sel gris from the ile de re: http://www.atthemeadow.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=357

 

I want to try Maldon one day.

 

I have yet to try smoked salt too. 

post #6 of 26

FF: I have a bottle of smoked salt. I used it once, you are welcome to have it if you would like it. (bought a few months ago)

Petals
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Wine and Cheese
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Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(165 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
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post #7 of 26

post #8 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by petalsandcoco View Post
 

FF: I have a bottle of smoked salt. I used it once, you are welcome to have it if you would like it. (bought a few months ago)

 

Really? Yeah I guess you don't exactly use that stuff on many things. Probably explains why I've been thinking "I should give it a try one day" for several years but never bought it! 

:)

post #9 of 26

Maybe I am not using it the right way. But of all the salts in my pantry, that one is a challenge to work with.

 

I used it on salmon that one time and the only residual taste left on my tongue was.....how can I explain this ? Like a cigarette in wet astray ......:(

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(165 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
Reply

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(165 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
Reply
post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by petalsandcoco View Post
 

Maybe I am not using it the right way. But of all the salts in my pantry, that one is a challenge to work with.

 

I used it on salmon that one time and the only residual taste left on my tongue was.....how can I explain this ? Like a cigarette in wet astray ......:(

 

You might have got some mixed with charcoal. It's a common practice in commercial "smoked" salt. 

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #11 of 26

so phatch, if I wanted to smoke my Hawaiian sea salt, how would I do this?  This sounds interesting,,,

post #12 of 26

I've done some in my smoker while smoking other things. It was OK though it is pretty resistant to picking up flavor. It helps to use a fairly coarse salt and mist it VERY LIGHTLY so  the smoke will stick better. 

 

I've taken to cheating now.  http://www.spicesetc.com/product/Hickory-Smoke-Powder/Specialty-Seasonings  And mix some of that with my salt. A little cocoa powder for color impact. Works quite well. 

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #13 of 26

I have been thinking about trying the Americas Test Kitchen recipe for grill smoked salmon, maybe I should put a foil packette of salt in for the 30-40 minutes called for.

post #14 of 26

These are really top quality, if you can find them in your part of the world.....

 

post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by IrishCook View Post
 

I guess some of you may think i'm crazy but my pallete definitely picks up different types of salt so I would like to best for my cooking.

 

 

I don't think you're crazy at all, but I would put my money on the fact that you're picking up much more the texture of the salt rather than the taste of it, especially when using salts like Maldon or fleur de sel. I use fleur de sel on specific things like on beef or lamb after it's being cut and plated, never in boiling stuff, that makes zero sence imo. My daily salt is fine and coarse sea salt.

post #16 of 26

I recently bought some kind of fancy sea salt.  It's a mineral, so it has to be some millions of years old, but... my salt has an expiration date on the package.:crazy::lol:

 

Mike   


Edited by MikeLM - 9/29/13 at 9:01pm
travelling gourmand
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travelling gourmand
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post #17 of 26

There is a fascinating book called "Salt: A World History" by Mark Kurlansky. I can't quote from it as I have lost my copy but along with fascinating historical tidbits, he relates that salt was originally sourced from all over the world by a variety of small scale production methods. The refining processes were often crude, resulting in many of the natural minerals being left in the final product, thus giving each salt a unique flavor. Refining processes were eventually developed that removed the impurities and allowed the development of uniform and consistent grain size and the ability to do so on an industrial scale.  The public eventually began to expect clean salt of uniform size and began dismissing other salts as dirty and a clearly inferior product. So the recent interest in "natural" salt is more of a return to the early sourcing and production methods and a renewed acceptance of the presence of minerals in salt as a positive attribute.  

All of which is to say that it is perhaps more of a personal preference for one salt or another than one being better than the other. 

     Of the history related to salt, the story i found most intriguing is that Mahatma Gandhi became famous for the simple act of picking up salt off a beach as an act of civil disobedience. The British colonial government of India wanted to promote the use and development of a salt mine back home rather than having the natives use local salt. Some communities of coastal Indians made a subsistence living by harvesting salt from nearby beaches. When the British passed a law prohibiting this, the effect was to deny these communities any form of economic activity, essentially dooming them to starvation. Upon hearing of this, Ghandi, then relatively unknown, proceeded to walk hundreds of miles across India for the singular purpose of defying the unjust law, letting his non-violent intentions be known. As news of this potential act of civil disobedience spread, hundreds joined him in his walk to the beach. By the time he arrived, the crowds were enormous and the world press was recording his every move. All he did was to reach down and pick up some salt.The resulting coverage was so embarrassing to the government that the law was repealed, virtually immediately, Ghandi became world famous and civil disobedience spread around the globe. A little salt really can go a long way. 

post #18 of 26

Interesting history, chefwriter - since i come from a family of salt lovers i bought that book for my daughter (as a kid she would eat large grain salt, grain by grain, as a snack).  We have notoriously low blood pressure and my doctor even advised me to eat MORE salt!  

 

But yes, salt was money once, ("salary" comes from the word for salt) and it's been controlled by more than one government (in india it was particularly oppressive in a country where so many lived in sub-subsistence conditions) but in Italy, when i first came here, you couldn;t buy salt in the grocery store, but had to buy it in "sale e tabacchi" - salt and tobacco stores, because salt and tobacco were both subject to a special government tax.  You can't grow your own tobacco either. 

 

My favorite salt, having tasted many, is TRAPANI - it's not grey or anything - it's white like the others, but tastes better.  Never tasted malden except in the flakey crystals they sell in the uk as finishing salt and the crunchiness is great. 

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #19 of 26

All vood items have to have an expiration date by law in the US.

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by phatch View Post
 

All vood items have to have an expiration date by law in the US.

Hm, the U.S.F.D.A. seems to have a differing opinion: http://www.fda.gov/aboutfda/transparency/basics/ucm210073.htm

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #21 of 26

I would be leary of Pacific based sea salts from here on out. Fukuishima radiation will probably find its way into it.

post #22 of 26

I would not waste the owners money or my own on all of these salts  Just give me Kosher Salt and regular salt. thats it.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisBelgium View Post
 

I don't think you're crazy at all, but I would put my money on the fact that you're picking up much more the texture of the salt rather than the taste of it, especially when using salts like Maldon or fleur de sel.

 

Definitely not crazy at all. I think that when used as a finishing salt, anyone can easily taste the difference in flavor between fleur de sel and kosher salt with their eyes closed. As for texture, that's a fundamental component of flavor. And I agree the texture might be the most important difference: the shape of the crystal, the way it melts on your tongue, its weight, etc.

 

Flavor = taste+texture+temperature+odors+pain(chili) etc...

 

There was an episode of a Ramsay show where he brought the contestant one of his restaurant's dish, a duck breast with some fancy sauce and fancy side dish etc... and told them they were going to taste the dish. But as they grab their forks, he pours the contents of the plate in a blender, blends the whole thing and pours the thick gray liquid result in a tall glass, and hands it to them with a straw. Just watching the faces of the contestant "drinking" their duck breast was priceless. :D I think Ramsay made his point. 

post #24 of 26

I have six salts next to my range - Kosher, Course Italian sea, Celtic sea, Pink Himalayan and Red and Black Hawaiian.  They all taste different and all get used for a different task.  Some are starters and some are for finishing.  Kosher mostly goes in the water pot for pasta, etc.

post #25 of 26

Salt,

Use Baline as an everyday, Maldon for roasts, Kosher to salt water, regular and Chardonnay smoked Fleur de Sel to finish.

Have apple wood smoked that we use in one of our bacon cures as well as cherry smoked both made in house. CF had a great discussion re "how to"

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/77054/calling-all-smokers

 

pic of cherry wood smoked maldon

cherry smoked Maldon salt

 

We make our own spice blends and use our salts in our blends.

Think my favorite is wild porcini we use to finish steak on add in mushroom pasta. It's one of our secrets for our ravioli and cannelloni fillings

Have an Umami Tuscan pork belly and pickled watermelon salad that we use ghost pepper salt to finish the watermelon. We tested a watermelon sorbet with it as well, we got a combination of brain freeze along with runny eyes, sweating and runny nose from the GPS!, Guests loved it. too funny.

 

 

 

Cheers!,

 

 

EDG

"Ars Est Celare Artem"

 

True art, is to conceal art......

 

https://www.instagram.com/smokehouse_84/

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"Ars Est Celare Artem"

 

True art, is to conceal art......

 

https://www.instagram.com/smokehouse_84/

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post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by EverydayGourmet View Post
 

Use Baline as an everyday

 

Me too. I always have two of the Baleine salts, one coarse and one fine. We tried less expensive sea salts like Trader Joe's, but they would clump and just... didn't taste the same to me.

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