The price tag isn't so much the issue. In fact, it's bordering on an irrelevancy. Maldon salt in Australia isn't as expensive as the salt my friend bought, but it's still significantly the supermarket's standard 'sea salt' offerings.
Salt is an interesting topic. You can spend a lot of money on salt and buy a lot of different kinds of salt, even before you get into the realm of smoked salts, flavoured salts, salts with bits of truffle in them, salts mixed with ash, et al. Looking over old threads here, there are people who collect salts. For each kind they have a specific purpose in mind.
But what's, really, the difference? I get that when I go to the supermarket and pick up salt, it might come as fine grains or large rocks or fine flakes (like Maldon). It may be hit with anti-caking agents or other additives. But aside from that--and large grain/flake sea salt tends not to have those additives--what, really, is the difference? Is there a difference, aside from subtle textural differences (and the way it's easier, I guess, to evenly season something w/ less salt using a coarse salt than it is table salt) I might get from seasoning my rib eye with Maldon as opposed to my friend's Welsh salt?
Has anyone--say, one of you with a large-ish collection of sea salts--done a blind tasting (and again, I'm not talking about black salt or smoked salt or lemon salt or anything like that--just 'plain' but costly sea salt). How can one sea salt have noticeably more of a 'subtle sweetness' than another? Is Maldon, on a chemical level, truly different to the Welsh stuff or salt from Hawaii or salt from Nigeria or salt from, God forbid, a big 1 kilo bag I purchased for $3 at the supermarket (as opposed to ~$8 for a little box of Maldon)?
Edited by ChrisTaylor, 25 April 2012 - 04:33 AM.