It was quite a revelation to me last year on a cooking forum that there were a lot more types of salt in the world than just regular table salt and sea salt. I was fortunate to have a generous benefactor send me a number of different ones to try. These are finishing salts, some you can cook with, but most give their flavors best to sparing use on the finished dish. Most do well with blander foods that can handle a strong flavor like eggs, cauliflower, potatoes or popcorn. Some are better for bringing out flavor in dishes like a seared to perfection steak, chicken breast or pork chop. Try a bolder flavor in my quick Chicken and Asparagus Dinner.
I have also found the smoky ones to taste wonderful on salads and sliced tomatoes.
The delicate flavors go well with seafood and in desserts like salted caramel brownies. All are available online, some in specialty shops or places that carry international gourmet foods.
Flower of Bali – a limited supply each year as it is harvested from evaporation in the hollowed out trunks of palm trees in Bali. It is a light sea flavor with a large grain, perfect as a finishing salt on meats and poultry.
Pure Ocean – Another large grain sea salt, mostly pure without minerals, large crystals and a mild flavor.
Hawaiian Coral – a large grained sea salt with coral color from the clay evaporating trays
Smoked Sand – a smoked salt, ground into a fine grain
Himalayan Pink – rock salt from the Himalayan mountains of Pakistan containing calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper and iron that gives it the delicate color.
Fish dishes like my Quick Weeknight Fish Dinner are perfect for finishing salts like these.
Smoked Dark – Extra bold strong smoky flavored sea salt wonderful in a dry rub on meats to be grilled.
Eurasian Black – Actually is a pink color, a smoked large grain with a sulfur mineral content and a strong flavor. It is wonderful on egg dishes like quiche and deviled eggs.
Murray River Australian Flake – Harvested along the Murray River, it is a coral color large grain salt with a mild flavor, great on fish.
Fleur de Sel Camargue – a finer grain salt with a pale pinkish hue, mild to taste sea salt harvested on the coast of France
Sel de Guerande – A French sea salt with minerals, flaky textured with an earthy, wood smoke flavor and a golden color.
Bold flavors do very well with mild dishes like my Shrimp And Avocado Flower appetizer. Here I used the Bold smoked large grain salt, detailed below.
Black Truffle Sea Salt – One of my favorites, it is a delightfully strong, earthy black truffle flavor due to the dried bits of truffle mixed in with large sea salt crystals. Wonderful on eggs and chicken.
Halen Mon Wales – larger grain with a flaky texture gently infused with smoke from Welsh oak chippings which gives it a lightly sweet smoked flavor, ideal on vegetables, fish and eggs.
Hawaiian Red – a sea salt evaporated in Red Alaea clay trays which impart some of the mineral to the salt and bits of clay mineral.
Bold Smoked – a wood fired salt with a large grain perfect as a finishing salt, great on beef and tomatoes.
Lavender – contains an infusion of lavender flowers, perfect with herbs on chicken or fish, lovely in salted desserts.
Hawaiian Black – contains black volcanic lava charcoal in the large grains of the sea salt.
Just about all of them are wonderful on deviled eggs, especially topped with chilled shrimp. See my Perfect Deviled Eggs with Variations for the last recipe you will ever need. I give you categories to use with amounts to mix and mingle, making the taste different each time, or stick with a favorite. Top with a smoked salt or a large grain sea salt for wonderful flavor!
Speaking of eggs, have you tried my Anything Quiche? It is crustless, to keep it gluten free and low carb.
All of these salts have the same sodium content by weight as table salt, so this isn’t a way to reduce your sodium intake. However, some claim that you will use less of a finishing salt than you would a regular table salt, so in that way reduces the overall intake. Either way, add more flavor to your dishes with a little exotic salt. Have fun!!
Have you used exotic salt in your kitchen? Do you use sea salt or other types of salt for cooking and eating?