Friday, November 13, 2009

the Spice of Life

Salt. I don't know about you, but I find the varieties of salt intriguing. I also find its history to be rather interesting too. If you're interested in learning more about how salt has shaped the world, I recommend reading Salt: A World History.

I'm one lucky girl, because a good friend of mine correctly figured that I'd find this small collection of finishing salts fascinating. A couple of them are more common or standard - including:
Fleur de sel de guerande - a fine sea salt that hails from the south of France
Sel Gris de l'ile de noirmoutier - a coarse sea salt, also from France - the color comes from the grey clay saltpan that the seawater evaporates in for harvest.
Maldon - white sea salt with large thin crystalline flakes - this salt is evaporated in England's Blackwater estuary in stainless steel saltpans that are mounted over an intricate set of brickwork that is used to control the evaporation rate, encouraging the formation of the large flaky crystals.

More exotic are the following beauties:

Alaea Volcanic - this coarse salt gets its beautiful color from the red hawaiian clay that is introduced during the harvesting of this seasalt.

Turkish Black pyramid - this salt is combined with activated charcoal to obtain its color - this salt is incredibly crunchy - and I can't get over the wonderful crystal structure that it displays.

Kauai Guava Smoked - this hawaiian salt is hand harvested on molokai and kauai. After evaporation by sun and wind, the salt is ground and hand smoked using wild guava wood. The smokiness in this salt is simply incredible.

If you'd like to try some finishing salts, this set came from the Meadow in Portland - they also have chocolate...and wine...and flowers. The next time I'm up in that area of the country, I'm definitely going to have to check it out in person.


SpiderZ said...

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Thanks for sharing...

Anonymous said...

I NEEEEED more salt in my life! These are gorgeous! Yum!

SMOKED salt!>!?!?!?! I feel like someone answered my prayers, ones I don't even remember saying!

_kiki (can't remember my google account password...sorry this is anonymous)