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Posted: Jan 11, 2006 11:56 pm
So i got a "salt sampler" w/ salt grinder for christmas. there's 6 flavors including: Hawaiian pink sea salt, Himalayan pink salt, and -HOLY FUCKING SHIT- Smoked Mexican Salt.

It is a whole lotta smoked flavor (scent, really) put into a tiny little piece of salt. A must for eggs, salsas, anything really. I highly recommend it.
Posted: Jan 12, 2006 12:14 am
before you know it, you'll become a salt expert.... you'll be buying expensive jurassic salt n stuff
Posted: Jan 12, 2006 12:35 am
jurassic salt n stuff

Is that what killed off the dinosaurs? Too much sodium in their diets?
Posted: Jan 12, 2006 1:33 am
Posted: Jan 12, 2006 2:43 am
I's can hook it with some salt. My dad imports and sells fancy olive oil and Portuguese sea salt. Not just any sea salt, though- this is the super good "Flor de Sal" or, Flower of Salt, that briefly sits on the top of salt ponds during the sea salt harvesting process.

Oh yeah, baby, my middle name is bourgeois.
Posted: Jan 12, 2006 2:45 am
There's actually a book called, you guessed it, "Salt" that details the history of everyone's favorite mineral.
Posted: Jan 12, 2006 4:45 am
Posted: Jan 12, 2006 5:01 am
I just read an essay on designer salt and here's the thing; don't cook with fancy salt. there's no point. chemically it is the exact same thing as a box of morton's and will not make food any better. fancy salt tastes fancy because of it's unique texture and crystalline structure, which can cause it to dissolve faster or slower on the tongue. when you cook with it it just dissolves. well, I guess the smoked salt is probably an exception. but double blind taste tests of different $25/lb sea salts dissolved in water have shown that nobody can tell the difference between some himalayan pink shit and the packets of salt you get at mcdonald's.

many epicures swear that you should always use kosher salt instead of table salt, but they can never offer a good reason for doing so. maybe it has something to do with it dissolving more slowly (since the crystals are bigger) or maybe they're full of shit.
Posted: Jan 12, 2006 5:58 am
we brought home some great sea salt from Zihuatanejo on our honeymoon. wished we had gotten more though. that shit went fast. i was using it whever shit called for salt. i quickly realized that you cook with kosher salt and use the nice seasalt to season in the end.

joe how can i get hooked up with some of the old mans portuguese product?
Posted: Jan 12, 2006 1:22 pm
so is it best to use designer salt at the last minute, when the meal is being served?

i have flor de sal too. how do i put it to good use? does it go better with certain foods?? the smoked salt is a no-brainer to use, but some of the others i'm just not sure how to put to use.
Posted: Jan 12, 2006 3:05 pm
i think it epends on what gets trapped in the crystals that would determine the difference in flavor between table salt and these designer salts. it would be these "impurities" imparting the flavor not just the salt. that is why salt from different parts of the world might taste different, they have different things trapped in them. So, salt manufactured in a lab and salt from the dead sea, would taste different.
Posted: Jan 12, 2006 3:47 pm
well that's what you'd think, but when they did the taste test, the results were quite conclusive that nobody could really tell the difference-- at least if the salts were dissolved in water. there was one crazy salt from japan that 14 out of 20 tasters correctly identified. they found that most of what's trapped in the crystals are tasteless, odorless minerals.
Posted: Jan 12, 2006 4:45 pm
I use Fluer de sel! great shit. moist, flavorful, no chemical taste. It's a bit expensive, but I think it's worth it.
I got some Hawiian salt from work that was purple and smelled like farts---it's used for baking I was told
Posted: Jan 12, 2006 5:39 pm
Alright... the thing about the fancy salts (this goes for olive oils, too) is that you don't wanna cook wit that shit. Use it JUST as a finish, to give your food a little texture and extra flavor. We just keep a bag of it on the dinner table, along with a bottle of olive oil. and sprinkle/pour that shit on everything we eat. It's the bomb.

Hollis Brown: www.realgoodfood.com is the old man's website, he's got salt and oil info, restaurant reviews, recipes, etc. If your in Portland, you can email me or him, and make an appoitment to swing by the house and pick up some product. We do it crack-house style, but with food.
Posted: Jan 12, 2006 7:06 pm
I think the fancy salt only makes stuff taste better if you tell people that it's in there, so you may as well save the expense and not use it and just tell folks you're using it anyway. It's placebolicious!
Posted: Mar 18, 2006 3:37 am
i am addicted to salt.
i can't stop adding it to everything right now
unless of course, everything i'm eating is bland... which it could be
Posted: Mar 18, 2006 4:43 am
Kosher salt is better. More surface area... more bang for your buck. That pink salt you gave us is swell too.
Posted: Mar 18, 2006 9:52 pm
more surface area? I don't buy it. don't a bunch of small crystals actually have more collective surface area than a large piece of salt? I don't know. I'm inclined to agree with you that it's better but I don't know why and it doesn't seem like there's any scientific reason for it.
Posted: Mar 18, 2006 11:16 pm
it doesn't seem like there's any scientific reason for it.

there doesn't have to be, does there?
Posted: Mar 18, 2006 11:29 pm | Edited by: Womb Raider
I think there does. If so many chefs and gourmands recommend kosher salt over table salt (for baking and cooking) there should be some logic behind it, right? I prefer it as a seasoning but I just can't figure out why, if you're making pizza dough or something, everyone says to use kosher salt. I suspect it has something to do with pretentiousness.
Posted: Mar 18, 2006 11:33 pm
I prefer it as a seasoning but I just can't figure out why
80% less baby jesus in it.
Posted: Mar 18, 2006 11:41 pm
hmmm well this is somewhat informative:

Q: What is the difference between kosher salt, sea salt, and table salt?

A: For the cook's purposes, the main difference between salts is in their texture. Table salt's fine granules dissolve quickly, making it the preferred salt of bakers. Sea salt and kosher salt possess larger, irregular grains that add a delightful crunch and hit of briny flavor when sprinkled on food at the last minute. Generally, savvy cooks prefer kosher salt when cooking, since its coarse texture is easier to take a pinch of when seasoning savory dishes.

Chemically there is little difference between kitchen salts. All are at least 97 1/2 percent sodium chloride. But there are significant differences in the provenance and processing of these salts.

Table salt is mined from underground salt deposits, and includes a small portion of calcium silicate, an anti-caking agent added to prevent clumping. It possesses very fine crystals and a sharp taste. Because of its fine grain a single teaspoon of table salt contains more salt than a tablespoon of kosher or sea salt.

Sea salt is harvested from evaporated seawater and receives little or no processing, leaving in tact the minerals from the water it came from. These minerals flavor and color the salt slightly. However, because these salts often come at a dear price, it is worth keeping in mind that they lose their unique flavor when cooked or dissolved.

Kosher salt takes its name from its use in the koshering process. It contains no preservatives and can be derived from either seawater or underground sources. Aside from being a great salt to keep within arm's reach when you are cooking, it is particularly useful in preserving, because its large crystals draw moisture out of meats and other foods more effectively than other salts.

–Food Network Kitchens
Posted: Mar 18, 2006 11:43 pm
so there you have it; kosher salt is preferred because it's easier to pinch.
Posted: Mar 19, 2006 1:57 am
it is particularly useful in preserving, because its large crystals draw moisture out of meats and other foods more effectively than other salts.

that makes sense
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