• Best Gourmet Salts for Cooking

All About Salt

What is salt?

Salt is a mineral. Thus, unlike most spices and herbs, salt does not come from any plant. Salt is from the ocean, either the pre-historic ocean and it is found in geological deposits in mines (rock salt). Or it is from the present ocean and it is harvested by the evaporation process (sea salt). Salt is one of the most fundamental seasonings in cooking, used to enhance the flavors of any dish. There are quite a large variety of salts all with different characteristics and uses. From the delicate Fleur De Sel to the stark Hawaiian Black Lava Salt, Spice for Life has an extensive collection of salts from which to choose.

Meat and Poultry can be salted and seasoned up to a day before cooking. Giving salt plenty of time to penetrate the meat and draw out moisture to help with creating a delicious crust on beef and help with browning of chicken.

Seafood and Vegetables should be salted no more than 15 minutes before cooking. There is chance that they will become rubbery if left salted for too long.

A pinch salt in your coffee will help curb some of the bitterness. And who doesn’t enjoy a few flakes of Fleur De Sel on the top of a piece of dark chocolate with caramel to mellow the flavor.

Finishing Salts.

Finishing salts are the upper echelon of salts. As the name implies, finishing salts are used to finish your food, sprinkled over both cold and hot dishes to add an extra flare of flavor and crunchy texture.

Fleur De Sel or “Flower Of Salt,” is a one of the rarest forms of salt. It comes from the ocean off the coast of the Brittany Region of France. The delicate top layer of saltpans (very shallow evaporation pools) are scrapped or gently raked to collect this pure white salt. Fleur De Sel has a light floral taste, which dissolves slowly in your mouth giving a salty but not overpowering flavor. This makes it a wonderful accompaniment to lighter dishes like fish, salad, or even baked goods.

Hawaiian Black Lava Salt’s color is due to a mix of minerals, activated charcoal, and refined lava, which give it an earthy flavor. It’s great for adding a dramatic color finish on fish, seafood, and vegetables.

All Purpose Salts.

Sel Gris or “Grey Sea Salt” is harvested from the same region of France, the coast of Brittany, as Fleur De Sel. However, it is harvested from the bottom of the saltpans and it is not washed or processed at all so it retains most of the minerals in the water. Like the name implies, this gives Sel Gris its distinct grey color and slight briny smell and taste. This is an excellent all-purpose salt, which can be used while cooking and as a finishing salt.

Himalayan Pink Salt is one of the purist forms of salt, mined from the foothills of the Himalayas. Its pink hue comes from a rich variety of minerals. It can be used in any type of cooking or (depending on the size of the salt crystals) can be put into a salt grinder and used as a table salt.

Seasoned Salts.

Seasoned salts are any mixture of salt with different herbs and spices. They can be used during cooking to enhance the flavors of the dish by adding that missing ingredient to a bland dish. Try our Spicy Seasoned Salt, Jalapeno Salt, or Garlic Salt on French fries, roast potatoes, or popcorn. Smoky Citrus Salt or Turmeric Coriander Salt is great to add to grilled or roasted vegetables, chicken, fish, stews, and even scrambled eggs.

Smoked Salts.

Applewood Smoked Salt and Mesquite Smoked Salt are both wonderful for adding complex smoky flavors without needing to fire up a grill or using chemicals like liquid smoke. These flaky salts are smoked over applewood, giving it a sweet fruity flavor or mesquite wood, giving it a bolder smoky flavor reminiscent of cooking over a campfire. These smoky salts are extraordinary in BBQ sauces, as rubs on meats, seafood and poultry, as well as on grilled or roasted vegetables.