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Designer Salt

CBirck's picture

In the last several months I have been seeing a trend to what I call "designer salt".  Am I to toss my Morton idodized?  Is the French grey salt, et al really more tasty and worth the expense?  I leaning towards "yes" because I'm already enjoying my kosher salt now that I'm using it more.  I think I should  be using the new salts just for finishing? 


Another question, if I do purchase some of the new salts, I not keen on using them dipping my fingers in to a bowl and then using those same fingers cooking, dipping back in the bowl for additional taste, etc.  I'm not the food police, but it does not sound too sanitary to me.  Will be interested in your opinions and what salts you are enjoying using.

MadMom's picture

(post #30401, reply #1 of 28)

One of the Vancouver restaurants, "C," has come out with a line of specialized salts.  I bought four of them.  One is citrus flavored, one is smoked, one has sesame seeds, and one is Hawaiian red sea salt.  I am "so-so" about the first three, but really like the Hawaiian red salt.  I use it often on roasted vegetables, and it has a really great flavor.  I always cook with sea salt, buying it in fairly decent quantities.  Although it is more expensive than Morton's, it IMNSHO is much better, and let's face it, an additional $1 or $2 each month probably isn't going to break me.  I save the gray fleur de sel for finishing.



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CBirck's picture

(post #30401, reply #2 of 28)

Thanx for the information.  My DH was born and raised in Hawaii and I've used the red Hawaiian salt brought back from our visits and loved it (it's not a speciality item in Foodland grocery store there!).  As my husband would say, I don't think it will make me rich or poor, to try a few other salts out there for fun!  Food without salt is a day without sunshine (same as wine).

Gretchen's picture

(post #30401, reply #3 of 28)

I think the specialty salts like fleur de sel and your Hawaiian salt should be used as a finishing seasoning, not cooked.  I think once it is "cooked" or in solution, it is just "salt".

Gretchen

Gretchen
Adele's picture

(post #30401, reply #4 of 28)

I haven't used Mortons or any other table salt for a couple of years now.  Kosher to cook, sea salts to finish.  I have quite a few different types, I have found my favourite is from Chesapeake bay!  I also have a little spoon, that I keep by the sea salts and use it for whichever I end up using.  My kosher salt has it's own little spoon. (I buy it in a box and store it in a glass jar)


But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

Billll's picture

(post #30401, reply #26 of 28)

I use a salt cellar and my fingers, except when i'm doing chicken.  Look at  #26 on this subject.  Have you ever done a potato like this? It really makes a difference.

Lword's picture

(post #30401, reply #5 of 28)

It depends on what I'm cooking. Adding salt to baked goods I use table salt as its tiny grains make it easier to accurately measure in small amounts and so many cookbooks assume that is what we are using, as I would in a brine or most times when it would be dissolved and tossed. Part of the fun of the larger crystals is that they look good and add a different texture. I've never tried a flavored salt. My normal salts are grey, red, fleur de sel and boxed kosher. I like the red the best but the grains are too large to be practical for all applications without a grinder or mortar and pestle although you can buy it in a smaller grind. 


I wouldn't worry about using your fingers for a pinch or two of salt but that's me so Adele's idea of a tiny spoon should work perfectly, and they look cute too. I don't use my fingers to taste but have been guilty of double dipping the tasting spoon in the past - here's another use for iceberg.


L.
L.
"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one." Mother Teresa
Adele's picture

(post #30401, reply #6 of 28)

Here's a secret.  I dislike biting down on salt in things like brownies or cookies, as I did from time to time using the kosher.  So, I took about a 1/4 cup of the kosher and ran it through my spice grinder for a minute, just to break it up enough to where it melted.  I keep that in a smaller container, just for baking.

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

Risottogirl's picture

(post #30401, reply #7 of 28)

What brand of Kosher are you using?


There are two major brands widely available it seems - Diamond crystal (remember the minor dustup about this in the mag) and Morton's. They are quite different in texture - so much so that it affects measurement.


Neither of brand crystals seem large enough that one could bite into it and feel a crunch in baked goods. I have used both brands over many years and never experienced this. Both disolve very well into things.


What size are the crystals of the kosher salt you are using? I am intrigued.


Partly so because I do like the crunch. Here in Paris, I buy a butter from Brittany that lhas the local sea salt added to it in rather large crystals - they definitely "crunch" and that's quite the intent! Yum!



I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate
Julia Child


Edited 2/1/2005 12:54 pm ET by RISOTTOGIRL

Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

Gretchen's picture

(post #30401, reply #8 of 28)

Oh, that butter sounds SO good--and on a crusty baguette!

Gretchen


Edited 2/1/2005 1:58 pm ET by GRETCHEN

Gretchen
Ceil's picture

(post #30401, reply #10 of 28)

I use regular Morton's salt in old baking recipies, as I can't really convert from regular to kosher, and it doesn't work to taste.  I use kosher salt for regular cooking at the stove, and I use Tripani sea salt for sprinkling on afterwards.  I have fleur de sel (not gray), and I love that, too.  My son brought the Tripani salt back with him from Sicily, and maybe that's why I like it best.  When you sprinkle on the good sea salts, it seems that you use much less than you would otherwise.

Gretchen's picture

(post #30401, reply #13 of 28)

I just use fine ground sea salt for "morton's".  It's in the blue cylinder. Can't remember the brand. Then Ihave some fleur de sel and some other French salts.

Gretchen

Gretchen
Glenys's picture

(post #30401, reply #16 of 28)

They bought Baleine didn't they?  With the whale?

Adele's picture

(post #30401, reply #9 of 28)

I have no idea!  It's in a white box with red, I know that.

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

Risottogirl's picture

(post #30401, reply #11 of 28)

Maybe Diamond Cristal, which I use? The Morton's box is dark blue. But of course I cannot just go look because all I have here in Paris is sea salt - 7 different kinds - LOL!


It is the DC brand that has the "fluffier" crystals, but they definitely don't crunch, even if you tasted the salt plain.


Wah, I want crunchy kosher salt.


I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate
Julia Child

Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

Aberwacky's picture

(post #30401, reply #12 of 28)

Yes, the Diamond Crystal kosher salt is in a red and white box, and Morton's is in the traditional Morton's blue box.


I bought some kosher salt from somewhere (I tend to bring it back with me on trips, so I can't remember where), and those flakes were a little larger and added a bit of crunch to herbed butters. I still have a bag of it, but there's no label on it, so I can't get any more!


My poor DH gets overwhelmed at times by all the salt choices he has--I keep my most often used ones on a little carousel by the stove, and I think there are 5 kinds there, plus the ones in the pantry.


I finally just filled an oversized shaker with a small-grained kosher salt for him, and now that's HIS salt.    When he asks "Where's the salt?" that's the one he means.


Leigh


 

"Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them." 
-Leo Tolstoy
Risottogirl's picture

(post #30401, reply #14 of 28)

It is my SO that is on the salt kick!


At home in Boston, I have DC kosher and a sel gris de Guerande that are my everyday salts.


We also have several different fleur de sel varietals from different areas (mostly France but also Madagascar) as well as some red salt from Hawaii and some from salt caves in Pakistan - probably several others I cannot recall.


My mom thinks his recent facination with salt is hilarious so for Christmas she bought him this set of six covered salt cellars with tiny spoons. She wouldn't say but I am guessing they are quite old (and probably rather $$). Of course she adores SO so anything goes!!


I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate
Julia Child

Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

Aberwacky's picture

(post #30401, reply #15 of 28)

How funny!


I'm not sure how I got into bringing back various sea salts from my business travels--maybe it's because they're hard to find and expensive here, and fun to seek out elsewhere.


I brought a BIG bag of the red Hawaiian salt back from the Maui Costco (good thing it doesn't go bad), various ones from Europe (sel de gris, sel de fleur, etc.) and even one from the United Arab Emirates.  At least I think it's sea salt.  It's definitely salt, and has an image of the Persian Gulf on it, so I assumed it was sea salt!


My most-used everyday salts at home are DC kosher (for using in foods) and Maldon's (for sprinkling on food)--I love it because of the size of the flakes and their noticable crunch, which is marvelous on potatoes and eggs.


Leigh

"Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them." 
-Leo Tolstoy
Gretchen's picture

(post #30401, reply #17 of 28)

My mom thinks his recent facination with salt is hilarious so for Christmas she bought him this set of six covered salt cellars with tiny spoons. She wouldn't say but I am guessing they are quite old (and probably rather $$). Of course she adores SO so anything goes


 


Oh, I would love to see that array, just to know about what it looks like,  for ME.


Gretchen


Edited 2/1/2005 10:19 pm ET by GRETCHEN

Gretchen
Geoffchef's picture

(post #30401, reply #18 of 28)

Dumb question time. Back when I was discovering kosher salt, DW tried to find some for me (it was not easy then), and, still lurking in the back of the cupboard are a bag of "Windsor Coarse Salt (no additives)" and a box of "Sifto Coarse Salt (excellent for pickling)". What should I do with these? Are they similar to kosher, or should I just sprinkle them on the ice on the driveway?

 


 


The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.


-Robert W. Service

 

ADAM'S APPLE, n.
A protuberance in the throat of man, thoughtfully provided by Nature to keep the rope in place.
Ambrose Bierce - The Devil's Dictionary

 

Risottogirl's picture

(post #30401, reply #19 of 28)

My grandmother used that salt for pickling and for making ice cream. I cannot imagine that it is inedible, but considering the relative price of salt, I'd probably opt to use it for pickles, ice cream (not likely since I have a nice electric machine) or the driveway. That's just me :)


I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate
Julia Child


Edited 2/2/2005 7:14 pm ET by RISOTTOGIRL

Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

misgogive's picture

(post #30401, reply #20 of 28)

I was a size 4 when I started cooking. Up until then I just ate.

Geoffchef's picture

(post #30401, reply #23 of 28)

Well, since I make neither pickles nor ice cream.... Thanks RG.

 


 


The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.


-Robert W. Service

 

ADAM'S APPLE, n.
A protuberance in the throat of man, thoughtfully provided by Nature to keep the rope in place.
Ambrose Bierce - The Devil's Dictionary

 

venturedone's picture

(post #30401, reply #24 of 28)

not likely since I have a mice electric machine)  Uh? 


http://freespace.virgin.net/paul.charlton1/mice/electric.htm


 


If at first you don't succeed, shouldn't you try doing it like your wife told you to do it?

 

Harebrained lagomorph, prestidigitations exist for pre-adolescents.

Risottogirl's picture

(post #30401, reply #27 of 28)

okay, okay I fixed the typo


LOL


I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate
Julia Child

Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

venturedone's picture

(post #30401, reply #28 of 28)

Ah, gee.  I thought it was kinda cute.  ;-)

If at first you don't succeed, shouldn't you try doing it like your wife told you to do it?

 

Harebrained lagomorph, prestidigitations exist for pre-adolescents.

gjander's picture

(post #30401, reply #21 of 28)

Whenever I watch cooking shows on television I am always shocked to see chefs handling raw meats and poultry and then dipping their fingers into the salt jar (and touching everything else in the kitchen) without washing first.  I have a salt jar but only put my fingers in there when my hands are clean.  If know that I will need to grab a pinch of salt or other seasoning while my hands are contaminated, I first fill a smaller prep bowl with a small amount of whatever it is I need.  I then throw away whatever is left over.


Gary


Edited 2/2/2005 7:05 am ET by GJANDER

ashleyd's picture

(post #30401, reply #22 of 28)

I have a couple of salt pigs, one for regular one for "special", with clean fingers it's dig in, with dirty fingers there is always a spoon nearby.


“In victory you deserve Champagne, in defeat you need it.”
Napoleon Bonaparte

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

Billll's picture

(post #30401, reply #25 of 28)

Get kosher salt first.  I just learned a trick-  beat an egg white and rub on a baking potato-- roll the potato in kosher salt and of course bake uncovered.  It makes the fluffiest potato -  put the sea salt  on the tomato and blu cheese sitting next to the potato.  A steak would also be good.