Salt is perhaps the most important and also controversial flavoring tool in any kitchen toolbox. Whenever I teach a class, we always get into a salt discussion: which to use, if any. A lot of doctors and nutritionists are trying to steer chefs away from using salt for health reasons. I say: “No way.” As I tell my students: Salt makes the world go ’round. There’s just no substitute. Here’s a short list of salt varieties; each delivers its own distinctive quality to a dish. Kosher salt is the most universal and well known; it’s inexpensive and has pure salt flavor. The coarse texture gives it more volume and makes it easy to control when salting food. Sea salts are available as both coarse or fine and are a bit more expensive than kosher salt. They tend to have a marine taste and a milder saltiness. Hawaiian sea salts are either pink, gray, or black and are very rich in trace minerals. Moderately priced, large-flaked Maldon sea salt from England is another great choice for both cooking and finishing. Nowadays, smoked salt is all the rage. There’s alderwood, hickory, apple, juniper, elm, and the list goes on. Basically, any smoked salt is considered a finishing salt and can add a degree of complexity and smokiness to any dish. Fleur de sel is harvested in Brittany, France, by hand from the surface of salt beds. Its sweet marine taste and crunchy texture make it a fantastic finishing salt preferred by many top chefs around the world.

Categories : Chef's Corner