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(Roberta Deen) Salt is both a necessity and a luxury. We need it in appropriate quantities to survive, but we can also use it to soften skin, soothe muscles, and relax our bodies, to name just a few benefits.
This St. Patrick’s Day, the “Dusting the Wild Irish Salmon Roses Salad” received “oohs and “ahas” when I brought them to the table.
My guests were even more impressed when they tasted the dusting of Cherry Smoked Sea Salt on them.
I was thrilled when I learned of so many other salts in the world besides just Morton’s iodized table salt. I grew up with that little girl with her umbrella thinking that was all there was to salt.
So it came as a lovely surprise when I became a professional catering chef to learn that salts came from all around the world, in a multitude of flavors, colors and textures. It was a culinary revelation to learn that there were salts to cook with (good old Morton’s) and salts with which to finish dish.
One cautionary note: I always loved the taste of salt, so I tended to under salt as I cooked and sprinkle heavily over the dish to meet that craving for flavor.
San Francisco Salt Company ( www.sfsalt.com )provides a huge array of the highest quality salts, some of which I have found individually over the years from different companies. All have been fun to play with – a bit on this, a dusting on that – until each found its own place on my palate and became a perfect fit for certain dishes. Smoked salt can transform and perfect a mixed green salad, for example.
French salt, Irish Flake salt, Mexican pyramid-shaped salt, Hawaiian Black salt, Himalayan pink salt, rust red salt – each with a distinctive taste and crunch – provides a distinctive addition to different dishes.
Now one of the largest importers of specialty salts in the country, San Francisco Salt Company selects only the best premium-quality salts from around the world for their new line of gourmet chef salts. Just a pinch or two can transform a meal from mundane to delectable while providing vital nutrients that are essential to human life and healthful diets.
We’ve tried a small selection of their top-selling salts and look forward to trying them all: Ultimate Salt Blend – Gourmet Salt Trio, Pacific Sea Salt – Pure & Natural, Flor De Sal – Guatemalan Sea Salt, Black Truffle Sea Salt, Fennel Saffron Sea Salt, French Grey Sea Salt, Kosher Chef Salt, Lemon Rosemary Salt, Mediterranean Sea Salt, Sherpa Pink® Himalayan Salt, Smoked Cherrywood Sea Salt, and Smoked Applewood Sea Salt.
Meanwhile Gerry Furth-Sides in Los Angeles tried the Ultimate Blend in oatmeal in crispy pancake form (show below). She reported that “it turned to look inviting and was fun to eat.
“It was simply bulk oatmeal cooked in a pot, with black Hawaiian Lava salt from the San Francisco Salt Company, then cooked until lacey. A little pour of natural honey was the final touch before serving it in a black bowl. “What a lively breakfast because of the different textures,” added Gerry. The snap of the Hawaiian Lava salt gives it ‘wake up’ flavor. Each of the salts adds a little bit different taste.
“Even though I didn’t disagree with the top chefs I worked with that salt brings out the taste of an item, now I’m a believer. Truly, a sprinkle of The Perfect Blend or the Hawaiian Blend even transforms the otherwise fairly bland, blank canvas, Bieler Healing Soup, made from string beans, zucchini, cilantro or parsley, onion, broth, black pepper, oil. ”
The mission of The San Francisco Salt Company is “to raise public awareness of the amazing benefits of natural sea salts by harnessing the power of the ocean to enhance well-being, from the inside out.”
The idea started after British founder, Lee Williamson, discovered balancing long work days with long soaks and bath salts in the tub each night led to “feeling fresh and invigorated each morning after a good night’s sleep and with skin as a soft as a baby.” It inspired him to spread the word of the amazing benefits of bathing in sea salts. So in 2002 the San Francisco Salt Company was created.
He met with instant success. In his words, “with the growing demand for gourmet salts, and continued requests by retail and wholesale customers, it was no surprise a few years later when we expanded into gourmet chef salts to become now one of the largest speciality salt suppliers in the U.S.A. We now offer an extensive line of bath and shower salts to soothe, cure, and promote relaxation, as well as a line of gourmet chef salts to guarantee just the right flavors for your dishes. The design, develop, and package of all of our salt products is done in our San Francisco facility.”
For more information on the company, please see: www.sfsalt.com. There are a number of recipes and a blog for the latest news and updates.
For a singular, entertaining and enormously educational experience, we suggest the book, SALT by bestselling author, Mark Kurlansky. In his fifth non-fiction work, Kurlansky turns his attention to the household item with a long and intriguing history. The only rock we eat, salt has shaped civilization from the very beginning, and its story is a glittering, often surprising part of the history of humankind. A substance so valuable it served as currency, salt has influenced the establishment of trade routes and cities — it was a surprise to learn that animals headed to the same salt licks over and over originated trails that became roads. Salt provoked and financed wars, secured empires, and inspired revolutions. Populated by colorful characters and filled with an unending series of fascinating details, Salt by Mark Kurlansky is rightfully touted by the publisher as “a supremely entertaining, multi-layered masterpiece.” Mark Kurlansky also wrote Cod, The Basque History of the World, 1968, and The Big Oyster.
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