Gourmet Salts And How To Use Them In Your Creative Cooking

Written by admin on March 30, 2009
Gourmet Salts And How To Use Them In Your Creative Cooking
Perfection on earth with the creation and taste of gourmet salt on your fabulous recipes
. It is my intention to advise you about these gourmet sea salts and just what they can do for your cooking. Many of these gourmet salts are produced by a company called “Saltworks”. The differences will be pointed out to sort one from the other, so that you will know when cooking just what to choose. But first, a little information on salt.

Sea salt is obtained by evaporating sea water. Common bodies of water for extraction of sea salt water is in the waters of the Himalayas, the Dead Sea, Pacific Ocean, Mediterranean Sea and Utah’s Great Salt Lake City.

Because sea salt generally lacks high iodine, an ultimately essential element for human health, we must be certain to get our iodine from other sources such as dairy products, processed foods, and regular foods.

Gourmet cooks believe that sea salt is better for us as the taste and texture ultimately give flavor changes that occur during our mouth’s feel, and the time it takes to actually dissolve the sea salt.

Salt has been considered a basic commodity until recently. Salt was just plain old salt. However, as Healthy Recipes’ has learned, gourmet chefs, cooks at home have learned about the value of different salts and how they can enhance their cooking by using these varieties of sea salts. However, unrefined sea salt contains many other minerals that iodized salt does not have; such as calcium, potassium, magnesium sulfate and traces of others such as lead, mercury, and cadmium. Something else to mention is sea salt is generally more expensive than regular refined salt. The taste is worth it!

Black Salt is an unrefined mineral salt. It appears to have a pearly pink rather than black appearance, and it carries a strong sulfuric odour. Black salt is available in a very fine or a coarse grain.

Main use: Authentic Indian cooking.

Celtic Salt(French Grey Sea Salt) refers to naturally moist salt harvested from the pristine Atlantic seawater off the coast of Brittany, France. Rich in trace mineral content, these salts are hand harvested by using the Celtic method of wooden rakes. This way, no metal touches the sea salt. Celtic Salts are available in coarse, stone ground and extra fine grain. The coarse salt is a larger grained sea salt.

Coarse salts are most commonly used by Chef’s. According to “Saltworks”, many recipes prefer to use finely ground salt, Chef’s prefer to use the coarse salt because they can easily measure it with their fingers. It is less moisture sensitive, therefore it resists caking and is easily stored.

Uses: Salt crusts on meat or fish, and flavoring for soups stews and pastas.

Finishing salts that are grown in particular areas of the world, are known for their unique textures which allow them to quickly dissolve as they are used in presentation. Salts such as these, bring out the natural flavors of any dish. See below for these finishing salts.

Flake Salt is a light, crystal-like snowflake. These salts are are from the evaporated sea waters and use the natural process of sun and wind producing a salt brine that is fed into an open evaporating pan. The brine is then slowly heated until the delicate snowflake pyramids appear. This finished product is a light flaky salt.

Uses: Flakey salt is used to bring out the depth of flavors and would be used on numerous vegetables, freshly cooked.

Fleur De Sel(flower of salt)is the “top-notch” condiment salt. This Artisan sea salt forms naturally on the top of salt evaporation ponds, and harvested by salt farmers. True Fleur De Sel comes from the Guerande region in France. Different areas produce salts with their own unique flavors and aromas.

Uses: This “flower of salt” is ideal for salads, cooked fresh vegetables and barbecued/grilled meats.

French Sea Salt is harvested from the pure, unspoiled Atlantic Ocean, and unlike many American sea salts, these are usually refined, so they keep most of the important trace minerals that occur naturally in sea water and in small amounts is healthy for us. These salts also include iodine. French Sea Salt is available in coarse, stone ground fine and extra fine grain.

Uses: Grilled meat, cooked and fresh vegetables, and ideal for salads.

Grey Salt is a moist, unrefined sea salt which is usually found on the coastal areas of France. This salt has a purple hue to it and comes from the clay in the salt flats. Amazingly, this salt is also collected by hand by the Celts. This salt has only come to the market in the past few years and has become very popular as it is considered to be of the best quality. Grey salt comes in coarse, stone ground fine and extra fine grain.

Uses: Flavoring foods at the dinner table at the host’s discretion.

Grinder Salts are large dry crystals that always require a grinder. It is important to note that one must always use a ceramic salt grinder, with plastic or ceramic parts, as salt will corrode and affect the taste of the salt in a manner that is not palatable.

Uses: Flavoring foods at the dinner table at the host’s discretion.

A natural mineral called Alaea (means volcanic baked red clay) in Hawaii is added to the salt to enrich the flavor. The clay is what gives it the distinctive pink colour. It is the clay that also gives this salt a more mellow taste than regular sea salt. The Hawaiian sea salt comes in a fine and coarse grain.

Uses: This salt is a traditional Hawaiian authentic seasoning for dishes such as the Kahlua Pig, ribs, pork loin and Hawaiian Jerky.

Italian Sea Salt comes from the low waters of the Mediterranean along the coast of Sicily. Italian Sea salt is a natural salt which is rich in minerals such as iodine, magnesium, fluorine, potassium; most importantly, it has a much lower percentage of sodium chloride, which is a good note for most of us as most processed foods are pre-salted. The salt pans are filled with water in the spring and left to evaporate with the assistance of the heat of the Sicilian sun and the African winds. Harvesting is ready when water has evaporated and the salt is then crushed without further refining. Italian Sea Salt is delicate in taste, and not too salty. It is available in coarse and fine grain.

Uses: Salads are a favorite with Italian salt, and roasts and sauces. It is also used for a garnish on bruschetta.

Kosher salt is a regular salt that is used by the Jewish denomination in their diets. The salt comes in flakes and therefore dissolve easily.

Uses: Kosher salt is used on top of pretzels and for the rims on Maragarita’s.

Organic Salt is not certified, though it is definitely ensured in the purity of the water used and the cleanliness of the salt beds and in harvesting and packaging.

Uses: Organic salt is used just as we would use a normal salt.

Smoked Sea Salt is fairly new to the gourmet salt user’s of America. Salts are naturally smoked over wood fires to infuse the salt crystals with 100% smoke flavor. Smoked Sea Salt comes in a coarse grain size.

Uses: Smoked Sea Salts are used in a unique variety of dishes including roasts, chicken, salads, pastas, sandwiches and probably the most favorite, grilling Salmon or even roasting in the oven.

Many Healthy Recipes can be created and a special touch of your favorite sea salt. Certainly, you will likely not carry all of these salts, but choose some of your favorites, including the Italian Sea Salt which has contains lower percentage of sodium chloride, which is very important to note for your health. After reading this article, you will be more aware of the number of salts available, and which ones will enhance your dish you are creating. Enjoy trying the different gourmet salts. It will really make a difference as a “gourmet cook”.
About the Author

Carole-Anne Stanway has been a creative healthy recipe cook for many years. She loves to learn new living techniques as well. Learn how you too can make, create and bake many healthy recipes for healthy living at .healthyrecipes

One Response to “Gourmet Salts And How To Use Them In Your Creative Cooking”

  1. Michelle says:

    http://www.sustainablesourcing.com/ has a great selection of himalayan sea salt, as well as peppercorns, all in Earth-friendly packaging!

    I LOVE cooking with mine!

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