Salt of the Earth – Part 2!!

saltNow that you’ve had a few days to “digest” the first blog on salt, (sorry, couldn’t resist!) here’s some more kinds you might like to try.  No doubt you’ve seen quite a few different kinds at your local grocery store.  Here, at our Smith’s, they have a whole “gourmet” salt display.  Let’s dive in.

Hawaiian salt

Hawaiian Sea Salt: This fine or coarse grained sea salt can be either red or black. Red Hawaiian sea salt gets its color from a natural mineral called Alaea, a volcanic baked red clay. This clay tints the salt red because it contains iron oxide, which serves as an added nutrient.   The clay in red Hawaiian sea salt smooths the naturally intense taste of the salt and imparts a subtle nutty flavor.  Black Hawaiian sea salt gets its color from the addition of activated charcoal, which is used as a detoxification agent and an antidote to poisons. Although Hawaiian salt does not contain a large enough quantity of activated charcoal for it to have strong detoxification properties, this mineral may contribute to the salt’s reputation as a health supplement. The charcoal in black Hawaiian sea salt gives it a rich, earthy undertone.

Cooking with it – Most sea salts lose their intensity as they cook, so chefs generally add them to dishes immediately before serving. However, Hawaiian sea salts retain their robust qualities through cooking, which widens the variety of ways they can be used.  Hawaiian sea salt complements pork, seafood, ceviche and more.  Check out this website for some recipes using Hawaiian salt.

smoked salt

Smoked Salt:  This salt is slow-smoked over a wood fire to infuse the crystals with a deep, smokey flavor, varying greatly depending on the type of wood used.  Some salts are slow smoked up to 14 days!  The most common wood choices are alder wood, apple wood, hickory, mesquite, and oak. Infused smoked salts like smoked bacon chipotle sea salt are very popular because of the dynamic flavor profiles.  Depending on the wood used, the salt comes out in various flavors from subtle to sweet.

Cooking with it – Smoking the salt makes it ideal for grilled meats and heartier vegetables such as potatoes. It’s been said that vegetarians like cooking with smoked salt to impart the flavor of bacon without having the meat.  🙂  Here are some recipes.

seasoned salt

Seasoned Salt: No, I’m not talking Lawry’s seasoned salt here! Did you know that salt can be seasoned with a variety of different flavorings, including truffles, lemon, herbs and more? Truffles impart an earthiness to sea salt, making it an ideal flavoring for risottos, red meats, and egg dishes. A seasoned salt such as lemon flake salt, on the other hand, is great for cocktails (perhaps on the rim of a Limoncello ? ) or grilled vegetables.  Making your own seasoned salt is easy and there are all kinds of recipes out there for it.  Here’s one that would substitute for Lawry’s without getting all the unwanted additives that Lawry’s puts in.

You’ll see there’s a whole new world out there!  Be creative with your cooking!

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