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Gourmet and Infused Salt Talk with Recipe Suggestions

2010 June 4

Saltistry is my go-to place for, take your pick of words, artisan, specialty, infused, gourmet salts right now. I’m not affiliated with them or receiving anything for this…but I wouldn’t mind as this is a great company with quality service and products. I like the packaging and it lasts quite a while. I think we had my first Purist Sampler for over 10 months. You get 5 salts at about 1.2 oz. each, priced around $18. Along with a nifty package is a description of the types of dishes and foods to pair each with and the salt’s country of origin.

The most recent order consisted of another Purist sampler, the Harvest sampler and a Cube with detachable sections, like a pill box.

*Update: I’ve also come across Secret Stash Sea Salts and the Meadow which sound lovely. I will be trying some of their salt varieties.

I have been a salt fiend-that really needed to reduce my salt-intake-for a long time. Ordering specialty salts has helped me reduce my intake, a little goes a long way and my salt repertoire has grown. Just a pinch, paired with the right dish, makes the meal. I have a habit of putting it on cheese, fruit, salads, tapa-inspired dishes and so much more. Below is a description of the salts and a few recipes for some of the salts, should you find yourself with that particular briny substance.

Fleur de sel: Origin is France on the surface of Guerande pond, collected with wooden rakes. One of the most widely known salt crystals in the world. It can appear grey or pink due to the collection process. Loved by many in/on top of chocolate, brownies and caramel, it is also great to finish egg dishes or as the finish to bread dipped in oil.

Recipe suggestions:
Salted Caramel Custard Pots from A Bowl of Mush
Soft Scrambled Eggs with Fresh Ricotta and Chives from on Bon Appétit
Fleur de Sel Caramels from Gourmet

Aguni: Origin is Japan, along the coast, filtered through bamboo branches. The crystal is delicate and soft.

Recipe suggestion: This is one of the least used salts in my package but I hear it is great to sprinkle over sushi and vegetables.

Sel Gris: Origin is France, along the Atlantic coast, in basins filled with ocean water, gathered by rake in the summer. Grey in appearance with flavors of the salty sea. This is an unrefined salt that packs a sodium punch.

Recipe suggestion: Use this on roasted or grilled meats and veggies

Murray River: Origin is Australia, in the river, water provided by the Alps underground in the Murray Darling Basin. A peach/pink appearance with a large flake. This salt is mild and melts quickly

Recipe suggestion: It’s tendency to dissolve quickly makes it great on raw fruits/veggies and on salads (especially caprese)

Halen Mon: Origin is Wales, from the Menai Strait, filtered 7 times, sifted and sorted by hand. Large crystals and one of my favorites thanks to its versatility in dishes, it’s quite complex.

Recipe suggestions: I would rim my margarita with this one. I enjoy it on nearly anything to finish the dish-vegetables, salads, desserts (like ice cream).

Coco Choco Clusters from Heidi and 101 Cookbooks

Lemon Thyme: Origin is Essex, England. An infusion of thyme leaves, Meyer lemon zest and Maldon salt. I love salt infusions and intend to create my own soon.

Recipe suggestion: The smell and taste are fantastic. I recommend using this on a variety of fruits and vegetables, fish and salads.
Baked Tilapia or Cod from Whole Foods Market

Apricot: Origin is Dochu, Korea. Mixed with sun-dried apricots, very interesting and worth a try. Saltistry says it’s great with savory dishes, pork, lamb, cheesecake, potatoes, dark chocolate, cherries, pistachios, couscous and rice. I haven’t experimented with it much yet but I think I could agree with those suggestions.

Recipe suggestion:
Apricot Couscous from Tyler Florence

Heirloom Tomato: Origin is Algarve, Portugal. Mixed with sun-dried heirloom tomatoes.

Recipe suggestion: Great with pasta dishes, salads, tuna, eggs, seafood and vegetables.

Tangerine: Origin is Okinawa, Japan. The zest and oil of tangerines infuse this aromatic salt.

Recipe suggestion: I like this one with fruit and dessert dishes. Chocolate, mangoes and other citrus-based recipes suit this one. Saltistry believes it’s great for the Salty Dog (from Martha Stewart) cocktail and I will have to see.

Lime Flake: Origin is Essex, England. One of my favorites in the collection, another Maldon salt infused with lime zest.

Recipe suggestion: Great for cocktails with tequila, steak, corn and melons.

Herb Grey: Origin is Guerande, France. Another favorite here with grey salt, oregano, basil, and thyme for a full flavor with an almost smoky smell.

Recipe suggestion: Roast chicken, grilled meats and other savory dishes. I could see this one being very versatile and popular.

Genmai: Origin is Japan. Rich, deep flavor and golden brown essence because of the toasted brown rice (genmai) mixed with the salt. Not much is said or can be found about this flavor-enhancing ingredient. I enjoy it, as does Greg and we recommend giving it a try. I was reminded of a crumbled pretzel when I sampled it and Greg said sunflower seeds.

Six Pepper: Origin is Japan. Another reddish orange salt that comes highly recommended at the dabble. A definite pepper smell and savory taste. Saltistry says: they “hand grate Indonesian Long Peppercorns over the light and delicate Makidaki No Moshio from Japan. We crush Telicherry, pink, green, white, and various other peppers to create the most classic salt infusion we offer.” Very worthwhile and versatile

Recipe suggestion: I would try this whenever the mood strikes to bring out the specialty salt. Not helpful, I know but just try it and you’ll see.

Salish Smoked: Origin is Washington State. When we first opened this one, we said “oh man,” as in this is great stuff. Very smoky and dark brown, slow smoked over Alderwood and named by Native American Indians in the northwest.

Recipe suggestion: potatoes, grilled anything, chocolate, roasted meats, vegetables and on some cheeses.

Experiment and taste each salt alone to get a feel for what you think it would pair well with because everyone’s taste is different. Do you have any salt or recipe suggestions with a specific salt pairing?

8 Responses leave one →
  1. June 4, 2010

    I love using high quality, flavor infused salts. They add such a dimension of flavor. I enjoyed your post!

  2. Michelle permalink
    June 5, 2010

    This is the perfect gift for a friend of mine. Thanks for posting this!!

    • June 5, 2010

      No prob it’s great and affordable. Plus, it lasts and creating your own pairings is wonderful.

  3. June 6, 2010

    So much information. I had no idea there were traditional uses for some of these. GREG

    • June 7, 2010

      Oh yeah, I’m impressed with the amount of ideas I came across for some of these salts. I might need to continue “salt talk” on another post.

  4. June 6, 2010

    I just got some Salish this month and I love it. Wonderfully smokey. Great post.

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