Salt is salt, you might think, and that's 98 per cent true. But specialty salts, especially flavoured and infused varieties, can work as shortcuts in giving flavours, textures and other qualities to your home-cooked meals.
Food writer Hank Shaw writes about his induction into the gourmet salt enthusiast circle. To be honest, "Chardonnay smoked salt" might seem like the last thing you actually need in your kitchen, but it's not about flavouring, Shaw writes — it's much more about the texture of finer salts:
- A coarse, crunchy fleur de sel will add a muscular bite to the flavor of the meat. It is primal, and screams of the outdoors.
- Flake salt crackles in your mouth when you eat it, creating the impression of a brittle, crunchy crust on the meat. It's a little bit more refined a feeling, like remembering campfire eating without actually being outdoors.
- Fine grain sea salt, like the Italian fiore di sale, will rest on your steak like snow on a sunny day. It will offer just the slightest zing of saltiness as it dissolves. This is white-linen dining, folks.
Got any good salt stories from meals out or great stuff cooked at home? We're already hungry for them.
An Easy Way to Take Your Food to the Next Level: Good Salt [The Atlantic]