Chocolate & Zucchini Forum Index >> Back to Chocolate & Zucchini <<

 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages 
 RSS feedLast posts feed   RegisterRegister   Log inLog in 

Worth One's Salt
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Chocolate & Zucchini Forum Index -> Cooking & Eating
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Dairy_Queen



Joined: 29 Jan 2005
Posts: 342
Location: Chicago and other places

PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2005 3:00 pm    Post subject: Worth One's Salt Reply with quote

Here's a great article, with loads of photos, from Slate. I copied a bit of the article, but the link takes you to the entire, large and well-written article.

http://www.slate.com/id/2117243/?GT1=6443


Worth One's Salt
From fleur de sel to kosher, which salt is best?
By Dan Crane
Posted Tuesday, April 26, 2005, at 1:38 AM PT


At a Japanese restaurant one recent evening in New York City, I watched the chef liberally season a $50 Kobe beef rib-eye with fine-grained salt. "Excuse me," I inquired, "may I ask what kind of salt you are using?" Like a magician who's asked to reveal the secret of his best trick, he answered begrudgingly, "It is Japanese sea salt," and then threw the steak on the grill.

When preparing a $50 piece of aged beef, it's fairly logical that only the finest ingredients will do. But are pricier salts superior to their inexpensive counterparts? Which salt is best? In an effort to find out, I purchased some basic table salts from the local supermarket, and picked up fancy-schmancy varieties from a gourmet Manhattan grocer. I devised a (salt and) battery of tests, thus beginning operation dehydration.

Some Explanation

All salts that we consume are made from sea salt or mined from inland salt deposits. There are four common varieties: iodized table salt, kosher salt, sea salt, and fleur de sel (a type of sea salt).

Table salt is made by sending water into salt deposits and then evaporating the mixture until only salt crystals remain. The Morton Salt Company began adding iodine to salt in 1924 to help prevent goiters which, at that time, were typically caused by iodine deficiency. According to the Salt Institute, nearly 70 percent of table salt sold in the United States is iodized. Iodine deficiency has been virtually eliminated in North America, but it still presents a health problem in many countries around the world.


Continue Article

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
_________________
Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.
Groucho Marx
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
JustMe



Joined: 13 Apr 2005
Posts: 213
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2005 3:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Worth One's Salt Reply with quote

I read recently that iodine deficiency is again a problem with the emergence of sea salt as the salt of choice. Two steps forward, one step back....or is that one step forward, two steps back???
_________________
Life is too short to drink cheap wine.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2005 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I never thought too much about different kinds of salt until I purchased a small container of fleur de sel at a small shop down in our Byward Market which specialises in all things Provencal. Now I greedily guard said salt for use directly on tomatoes, grilled meats etc.. Wouldn't dream of using it in cooking. Just a wonderful burst of saltiness and a special crunch.

Really interesting article DQ, thanks.
_________________
Vivant Linguae Mortuae!!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Sarape



Joined: 15 Dec 2004
Posts: 583
Location: Anniston Alabama USA

PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2005 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very interesting. I'm going to search for the Morton's kosher salt.

Thanks for that article.
_________________
' She says, 'I am the glamorous type.' I said, 'So what?'
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Judy



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 1196
Location: buried under a pile of books somewhere in Adelaide, South Australia

PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2005 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like salt is becoming the next oil in the range different products for different applications.

Remember when we only had one bottle of oil (probably 'vegetable oil') in our pantries and used it for everything? Stephanie Alexander writes in her lovely book 'Recipes My Mother Gave Me' about her mother buying olive oil in little bottles from the pharmacy to use in her Italian cooking because in the 1940s in Australia that was the only place olive oil was available (don't ask what it was used for medicinally!).

I only have one type of salt in my pantry - Maldon Sea Salt. I don't cook with salt, we only really use it to season our food on our plates.

Oils, though - without even going into the kitchen to count, I know I have at least 6 different kinds, including 3 different olive oils.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Barbara



Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 899
Location: Gold Coast Australia

PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2005 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Last night I started reading Salt by Mark Kurlansky (I'm going to hear him speak at the end of the month). I can feel it is going to be an interesting read.

I use huge amounts of Maldon salt on everything, but use Iodised salt for salting water for pasta, grains, vegetables etc as there has been concern about the lack of iodine in our diets in NZ.

My pantry contains two olive oils only. A regular one for cooking and the super expensive one for drizzling over food.

Judy - I remember buying olive oil from the chemist way back (does that show my age!) as I wanted it for a recipe and it was the only place I could buy it. I'm told some men in the Meditteranean rub it into their hair. Bryan tried it but I think it was too late and he was already losing his hair!
_________________
Barbara
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2005 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My absolute favorite (and I'm a person who can never get enough salt Shocked ) is one I got from a seafood restaurant in Vancouver. I think there was once another discussion about salt where I posted the contact info but now I can't find that topic....

It's smoked salt flakes. I know this sounds entirely tooooo precious, but I guarantee you there is nothing better on a thick slab of fresh home-grown tomato. The flakes are quite large (maybe as much as 5cm) but very thin. This, in addition to their lovely amber color and truly smoky flavor, gives them a detectable and satisfying crunch. This is all to say, it's a finishing product rather than a basic flavoring ingredient -- except for that fresh slab o' 'mater. Bliss!

The same restaurant markets grey sea salt from Brittany, red salt from Hawaii and a few others. I've got 4 or 5 flavors in my cupboard. But once I tried the smoked salt, it was all I wanted. Their products are marketed at Capers if those stores are also located in eastern provinces.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
JustMe



Joined: 13 Apr 2005
Posts: 213
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2005 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found this site: http://www.salttraders.com/StoreFront.bok Do any of these look like the salt you're talking about, Rainey?

Who'd thunk that salt would be such a big topic! I've never tried fleur de sel but have heard it's wonderful. There's a wonderful store called The Cheese Boutique in the west end of Toronto that sells wonderful hard to find items. I think it's time for another visit.

What about pepper? Anyone have favourite pepper types?
_________________
Life is too short to drink cheap wine.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2005 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that link. I don't know if the Danish smoked salt is the same but I ordered a sample size to check it out. The salt I have forms a square crystal. The Danish salt seems more like an irregular clump. Nevertheless, it sounds promising.

I also thought I'd give the Australian salt a try since they sell everything as a sample in those adorable little bottles (wonder just how "little" they are...).

Did you check out the salt cellars? The garden set and the sandbox set are tooooo cute. Wish the prices were too.... Wink

Anyway, I'm so glad you posted that!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
JustMe



Joined: 13 Apr 2005
Posts: 213
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2005 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rainey: let us know how the salt is. I did find another link but there were no pictures; the description sounded more like what you were talking about.

A distinctively flaky English sea salt which is cold smoked over beechwood, resulting in a rich, aromatic and smoky flavour. These delicate salt flakes dissolve faster than most coarse salts. This makes for crystals which are superb for finishing grilled meats and seafood.

It was a Canadian site so I might try ordering some. Sometimes the US sites won't ship to Canada (especially food items) and by the time I pay exchange & then a customs fee (sometimes) it makes for a very expensive item.
_________________
Life is too short to drink cheap wine.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
fannie



Joined: 25 Mar 2005
Posts: 21
Location: Paris

PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2005 3:36 pm    Post subject: salt! Reply with quote

Barbara, I read Mark Kurlansky's Salt book a few years ago--quite facinating and makes for great cocktail party conversion ("did you know that [fill in the blank about some "salt" factoid]).

I recently purchased the cape herb and spice company "Atmosphere' grinder and now I use it to season fresh veggies, poached fish etc. It contains sea salt, st. john's wort, lemon balm, lavender, sweet basil, roman chamomile. Delicious!

I'm also a big fan of the fleur de sel, i love the crunch but i choose iodized salt for pasta and potato water.

Also-for salt lovers, I recommend baking fish in a salt/thyme crust. Bass and sea bream take on the flavor quite well.

for 2 people
1 whole sea bass (1.5 kg)
2 kg fleur de sel salt or grey salt (any humid salt)
springs of thyme, rosmary or fennel seeds depending on your taste

Preheat the oven to 270 C (518 F)
Gut the fish, leave the scales, dry thouroughly
Inside the fish cavity, place the sprigs of fresh herbs
In a ceramic baking dish, line the bottom with salt, place the whole fish on top and then cover with more salt
Make sure the salt sticks together to make a crust--you can add a little water to help this process

Cook for 35-40 minutes

crack open the salt crust, take off the skin and serve with a lemon wedge
the fish is not salty, the salt crust acts as a kind of steaming device--the best part--you have not used any oils, butters!


enjoy.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2005 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I've just bookmarked that Salt Traders site because I think the little gift crates you can create would make excellent gifts! Thanks JustMe, I know what I'm gettting my uncle for Christmas!
_________________
Vivant Linguae Mortuae!!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
JustMe



Joined: 13 Apr 2005
Posts: 213
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2005 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David: you can always add me to your Christmas list. A crate of those salts would be lovely. Hey, why wait til Christmas....my birthday's coming up. Laughing
_________________
Life is too short to drink cheap wine.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dairy_Queen



Joined: 29 Jan 2005
Posts: 342
Location: Chicago and other places

PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2005 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm so glad that you guys found this article as interesting as I did! It actually made me late for work on Monday; I wouldn't leave the house and computer until I was done with it. Rolling Eyes

My first experience with ANY gourmet salt, and it happened to be fleur de sel, was oddly enough at a New England-style restaurant in Chicago, called GLORY...that is now sadly closed. Crying or Very sad As an appetizer, they would bring out the freshest of bread, still steaming from the oven, freshly churned butter that they made, and a small salt dish with wee spoons, holding fleur de sel. I was clueless as to what to do with this, and the kind server explained. I've been hooked ever since and can't eat fresh bread now without adding that hit of devine saltiness...and this is coming from someone who does NOT like the taste of salt. Go figure.

What's odd about the introduction, is right next to the defunct New England restaurant is a posh French restaurant that Sally and I went to a couple of times, and all they had was cold bread and aluminum-wrapped slabs of butter on the table. Their portions were waaaaay too small (we're tallking micro-mini) and the service too poor to continue going back.

But, now I want to try the smoked salt. Did we decide on which website had the one that Rainey was talking about?
_________________
Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.
Groucho Marx
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2005 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JustMe wrote:

It was a Canadian site so I might try ordering some. Sometimes the US sites won't ship to Canada (especially food items) and by the time I pay exchange & then a customs fee (sometimes) it makes for a very expensive item.


Well, if that doesn't work out let me know if you want me to get you the contact info in Vancouver, BC. They're lovely people (I had to go to the restaurant with a tin I'd bought at Capers that would NOT open). They were gracious and accomodating and gave me another free tin. Wink
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Chocolate & Zucchini Forum Index -> Cooking & Eating All times are GMT + 1 Hour
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Page 1 of 4

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group