Of all the vast ingredients in human history we use in the kitchen, salt seems to be the most used and yet it should be the simplest; it has been used not only for flavor but also for preserving before refrigeration, but lets take a quick look at the options at the gourmet food store and around the world that will leave you longing for the opportunity to indulge on salt and have a whole cabinet filled with unique and common salts.
Table: This fine-grain salt is what's in most people's salt shakers. It works best in baking recipes, when you need a precise measurement, but it's too small and slippery to be used when seasoning by hand.
There are two different styles to choose from, Iodized and non-iodized.
If you want to avoid the faintly bitter aftertaste of iodine use non,
Use the iodized if you're concerned about iodine deficiency, which can affect your thyroid.
Kosher salt: This is what is the standard to use for cooking. The grains are big enough that you can feel them, but not so big that they take too long to dissolve, which can result in overseasoning your food.
Fun fact: the name doesn't mean that it's certified kosher! It refers to the shape of the salt crystal, which is used in kosher butchering.
Maldon: This brand of finishing salt (to be applied to a dish after cooking, for a final pop of flavor) is beloved by chefs. Natural sea salt from the British coast is harvested by hand in a way that produces a unique pyramid-shaped crystal that breaks into large, airy flakes. The flakes lend great texture, while the salt itself is light and clean tasting.
Noted that it melts in your mouth do to how light it is.
Fleur de sel: Another finishing salt, this sea salt forms flower-shaped crystals as it dries (fleur is French for flower). Since it is directly harvested from salt marshes in coastal France, it tends to be moister and more prone to clumping than Maldon or other processed salt, and contains more minerals that give it a stronger, saltier flavor.
It can sometimes be faintly grey or pale pink.
Himalayan salt: Mined from underground veins of rock salt in northern Pakistan, this unprocessed salt is fashionable thanks to its color (it can range from dusty pink to deep red) and potential health benefits, thanks to the minerals it contains.
It's often sold in blocks or planks for cooking directly on, which are usually placed directly on the grill.
Hawaiian Alaea Salt: Alaea salt, is an unrefined sea salt that has been mixed with a red alae volcanic clay. It get its pink and brownish color from the particles of volcanic red clay. It was also used to cleanse, purify and bless tools, canoes, homes and temples.
The salt gets its pinkish-brown color from Hawaiian clay, called alae, which is rich in iron oxide.
Hawaiian Black Lava Salt: This salt obtains its natural and dramatic coloring from activated coconut shell charcoal which is infused with the salt for its numerous health benefits including antioxidant properties and enhanced digestive health.
Mostly used as a finishing salt.
UNIQUE FLAVORED SALTS
Icelandic Blueberry Salt: Flaky Icelandic Seasalt from Saltverk marinated in Icelandic Wild Blueberries and dried at a low temperature.
Blueberrysalt is excellent finishing salt for lamb, game whale, horsemeat and other meat. It gives rich taste and colour of blueberry and is very good to sprinkle it on salads and cooked vegetables.
Icelandic Wildberry Salt : Ingredients: 84% sea salt marinated in Blueberry and Crowberry sap, 16% dry bilberry, crowberry, rowanberry and juniper berry.
Use on various meat dishes, especially good to rub on Icelandic lamb or game. Colourful addition on e.g. salads, bread and rice.
Icelandic Rhubarb Angelica Salt: Ingredients: Sea salt marinated in organic Rhubarb sap, Angelica leaf and seed and dry organic Rhubarb and Black Currant.
The tart taste of rhubarb and the sweet bitter taste of Angelica goes well on various dishes, though especially good on fish dishes.
Icelandic Arctic Herb Salt: Icelandic flaky Seasalt from Saltverk Westfjord marinated in decoction of Iceland Moss (Cetraria islandica)and enriched with Arctic Thymes. Both herbs are perennial plants which grows in Icelandic arctic tundra.
Excellent as finishing salt and the earth taste of Iceland Moss and sweet aromatic taste of Wild Thyme goes well with lamb, pork and fish.
Icelandic Kelp Garlic Salt: This salt is made with Organic Brown Kelp (Laminara digitata) from Reykholar in Westfjords of Iceland and fine flaky Icelandic Seasalt from Saltverk also in Westfords with granulated garlic.
Especially delicious on fish dishes and as a finishing salt e.g. on roasted bread.