Thursday, December 30, 2010

How Many Salts are in your Kitchen???

One of my waitstaff asked me the other day why we had so many different salts in our kitchen and I realized that not everyone knew about the various types of salts that are out there. I then explained to him that each dish or cooking technique requires different approaches in seasoning and various types of salts provide the solution. Right now I can think of at least 5 salts used in our kitchen on a daily basis. First off is your multi-purpose kosher salt. The granules are large so they adhere to the surface of ingredients fairly well, the flavor is softened because of the plate like shape, and it contains no additives such as iodine. The second would be my favorite which is "Fleur de Sel" (flower of salt) which by definition is only the top layer of sea salt that is hand harvested before sinking to the bottom of the salt pans. The crystals are extremely small and melt fairly quickly once in contact with liquid. I prefer to use this salt as a finishing touch on desserts, high quality meats, or fresh fruits as a flavor enhancer especially since it's pretty expensive. Third would be the Himalayan pink rock salt which is mined and does not come from the ocean. I use this salt mainly for curing food such as fish or meats. The fourth would be a black Cyprus salt which is actually blended with a small amount of charcoal for coloring and detoxifying purposes. This one has an amazing visual appeal and looks on the table. The final would be our infusion salts which can range from anything we can think of. The latest has been a smoked hickory salt we made with our recently purchased handheld smoking gun. The beauty of infusions are that they can be anything that's laying around such as vanilla beans, citrus zest, truffle shavings, fresh herbs, or hard cheeses. If your only carrying around one type of salt in your kitchen then I would suggest getting to your local market and start experimenting.

1 comment:

Tina said...

Just two that I know of!