Aside from being asked to pass the shaker, do you give much thought to salt? Maybe you have wondered why recipes call for kosher salt instead of table salt. Perhaps the mineral only crosses your mind when a hearty dose of rock salt is needed to help your homemade ice cream along.
We think about salt a lot. Lucky for us, Amy and Scott at Savory Spice Shop recently invited the Charlotte Food Bloggers into their South End spicery to learn all about salt. From the foothills of the Himalayas to the coast of Guatemala, here is your quick trip around the world in nine salts.
Himalayan Pink Sea Salt – Mined from ancient sea beds deep within the Himalayan Mountains, the lovely pink salt is a great substitute for table salt.
Grey, or “Celtic”, Sea Salt – This flaky, moist salt was a crowd favorite. Harvested by drying sea water and raking the salt crystals, sprinkle this salt over baked potatoes or on top of a sweet chocolate cookie.
Fleur de Sel – Also from seawater, Fleur de Sel – the flower of the salt – is harvested when salt crystals form on the surface of the water drying in shallow pools. This crunchy salt is best used as a finishing salt.
Maldon Flake – Harvested in Essex in Southeast England, this bright white sea salt is great sprinkled on anything deserving of a little crunch. Try it on salads (no kidding) or mix it with some dried citrus zest for a great salt blend.
Mayan Sea Salt – A nice substitute to standard salt, this sea salt is harvested off the coast of Guatemala.
Hawaiian Sea Salts – Found in two shades, activated charcoal colors Black Lava Hawaiian Sea Salt while medicinal clay is responsible for the red color of Red Gold Hawaiian Sea Salt. This beautiful finishing salt looks great on chicken, potatoes, and seafood.
Alderwood Smoked Sea Salt – This Pacific sea salt owes its flavor to being smoked over alder wood, the same wood often used to smoke salmon and other meats. Delicious on fresh vegetables, you also can’t go wrong if you rim your cocktail glasses with this unique salt.
Italian Black Truffle – A blend of fine sea salt and black truffles, this salt is gourmet in every sense of the work. It’s awesome on popcorn. Actually, it’s awesome on anything.
Cantanzaro Herbs Seasoning Salt – A Savory Spice Shop exclusive, this sea salt blend is amped up with garlic, lemon peel, marjoram, European basil, Mediterranean thyme, rosemary , Greek oregano, pink peppercorns, and black pepper. It’s tasty alone, but also makes a great compound butter.
To make your own salt blends at home, Amy shared a good rule of thumb is ¼ cup of salt to 1-2 teaspoons of ground spice or herb. Need some ideas to get started? Try blending salt with something as simple as curry or lavender, or go big with a mix of rosemary, sage, oregano, basil, and thyme for a deluxe herb-infused salt.
After all that salt, we needed to rehydrate. Again, lucky for us, Vin Master was just next door. We enjoyed building our own wine flights and put together a massive charcuterie board to enjoy. Huge thanks to Amy and Scott at Savory Spice Shop and Vin Master for hosting our February meetup!
If you would like to learn more about salt, the next Salt 101 Workshops are Sunday, March 20, 2016. Pick from a 11:00am-11:45 am or 4:00pm-4:45 pm session. Space is limited! Call or visit the shop to sign up.
Photo credit: @theoliveandthesea
Photo credit: @ferventfoodie