Friday, August 29, 2008

Salt

Salt is probably something we really don't think too much about and when we do, it's usually because there's been some study or another "proving" that it's bad for us which will in turn, be gazumped by another "proving" that it's good for us.

But really we should be thinking about it - when used correctly it can bring out the true flavour of ingredients.

Salt shouldn't be consigned to be that white granular substance we buy in bulk - salt comes in many forms, each with their own unique characteristics. As a example of this, I thought I'd look at three interesting salts.

arious salts© by Haalo


At the top is a French classic

fleur de sel de guérande© by Haalo


Fleur de Sel de Guérande - hand collected in the salt marches of Guérande, this is naturally white and is not washed or crushed.

fleur de sel de guérande© by Haalo

It is best used as a finishing salt - sprinkled at the end of cooking, over salads or added at the table. If making salted caramel then this would be the salt of choice.

murray river salt flakes© by Haalo

The next salt is a local product - Murray River Salt Flakes

murray river salt flakes© by Haalo

Its distinctive colouring, a pale pink-peach, is due to carotene which is released by river algae. This product has an extra benefit in that it helps in the fight against the growing salinity of the Murray river basin. Just like Fleur de Sel, this is an excellent finishing salt. As the flakes are quick to dissolve they can also be used when baking and roasting.

natural black sea salt© by Haalo

The final salt comes from Cyprus - natural Volcanic Sea Salt Flakes

natural black sea salt© by Haalo

This salt sourced from the Mediterranean Sea is sun-dried in large pyramids and then mixed with activated charcoal. The crystals are quite delicate in nature and are also best used as a finishing salt.

23 comments:

  1. there's a little town called grand saline in texas where the morton salt company harvests that bulk white salt. the salt miners say that underneath the city is a huge cavern of salt, the size of many stadiums put together and the walls are sparkling white.

    it may not taste as good as the other stuff, but it's a cool story anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  2. cool - I think if I won the lottery I'd have a whole cupboard just dedicated to salt!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow, I have never seen the black salt, but it sure is amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi
    This is my first visist to your blog and it looks pretty cool:-)
    XX M

    ReplyDelete
  5. What an interesting post, and such lovely photos! I must pay more attention to the salt shelves in the wholefoods shop in future!

    ReplyDelete
  6. your photos are beautiful. I have never heard that about the murray river salt but seems a good reason to buy it - I read somewhere about someone going to the 100 mile restaurant in Melbourne and having Geelong salt which sounded v odd!

    ReplyDelete
  7. what an interesting post! and I thought I had discovered the most unusual salt when I got came across Maldon smoked salt. Obviously not!

    ReplyDelete
  8. if you're into salt, try:-
    http://www.randomhouse.co.uk/salt/home.htm

    a book that changed my life...

    (then try Cod, and then Oyster)

    ReplyDelete
  9. It's a great story China!

    That's a good idea Kittie!

    Hi Nina - besides its obvious physical appeal it's a lovely mild salt

    Thanks Matin and welcome!

    Thanks Lysy - there are so many salts they are all quite unique

    Thanks Johanna - the 100 mile cafe is an odd place in general, the coffee comes from byron but when you think about it, just about all our food has originally come from somewhere other than here.

    Thanks Heart - the smoked salt is amazing, I found some in italy all I wanted to do is smell it!

    Thanks Hunter - sounds interesting

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'd love to try the volcanic sea salt. Excellent post on salt! Thanks!

    Paz

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks, your posts are very informative.
    Another interesting piece on salt can be found here:

    http://www.australiangourmetpages.com/SaltStory.htm

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh Haalo, guess what? I've had a post on salt in my draft in-box since January and never finished it! We are never without the Murray river salt flakes at our place. we've even given boxes of it away to friends because they try it first at our place and it was love at first bite.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks Paz - it's a lovely delicate salt

    Thanks Thermo!

    Hi Nora - the murray river salt is a lovely salt and it's a staple in my home along with an everyday Italian salt.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm in love with those black flakes...

    We did a salt tasting with bloggers here in London which proved to be extremely instructive (and totally blew the "salt is salt" proposition out of the water!) Wish you could have joined us:
    http://cooksister.typepad.com/cook_sister/2006/11/london_food_blo.html

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi Jeanne - now that is a salt tasting! The wasabi salt looks so interesting I would have loved to be there.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Is it a sin to put a crystal of Maldon on your tongue and experience bliss. I hope not...and I hope I get to see your black salt one day.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wow! That black salt would be just gorgeous on a chocolate truffle.

    ReplyDelete
  18. What gorgeous shots you took! The salt looks amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I love the colour of that last salt. (Great photo, by the way!) Can't say I can taste anything particularly different about it, but it's great for presentation purposes. Also love using the Murray River salt and the French one.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I have so many different salts in my cupboard. My 2 favorites are the Australian pink flake and a spiced sea salt blend with badiane (no idea what this is), coriander, orange and lemon than is perfect on salmon. I have never heard of black salt. Guess what my new search is?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hope you get to experience the black salt too Simran!

    Thanks Zoe - that sounds like a good idea!

    Thanks Sweet!

    Thanks Y - they are all quite lovely

    Hi Amber - i guess black salt will soon be in your cupboard ;)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi Haalo
    I bought some black salt in Spain recently - beautiful stuff - just doesn't look so great on mashed potatoes :-(
    I also bought back some fleur de sel from France (I know - weird souvenirs)but can't find it in Australia. Do you know anyone who imports it into Australia?
    r0bin

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi Robin - I bought this Fleur de Sel from Simon Johnson

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...