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lullyloo

Salt (merged topics)

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Yep. Looked in popcorn. This is really strange.


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Linda, my advice... let it go. You could devote a few hours getting to the bottom of the popcorn salt mystery, or, in thirty seconds you could make your own and wash your hands of the whole thing.

I've worked in grocery stores. They're constantly discontinuing items/moving things around with no rhyme or reason. It's the nature of the business. Who knows why they stopped selling popcorn salt or if they shoved it in some corner that takes hours to find? Don't worry about it.

I find making my own popcorn salt to be a very liberating experience. Anything that I can do to lessen my dependency on agri-business makes me feel good. They can discontiue/continue popcorn salt until they're blue in the face- I could care less. I'm off the grid. And if it can involve a fraction of the time/money that it would shlepping myself to the store, all the better.

Ghandi would be proud.


Edited by scott123 (log)

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I love different kinds of salt, but I'm just learning and don't know much about different brands. I always hear people here talking about Maldon, and I'm wondering if it's worth a try. Right now, I have grey salt, fleur de sel, kosher salt, and salts sold in bulk and simply labelled "fine grained sea salt," and "coarse grained sea salt" by my local natural foods market. I don't know what companies any of the first three salts come from, because I store all salt in large mason jars and throw away the packages.

Before this thread, I had never heard of popcorn salt. However, I frequently grind coarse grained sea salt in a coffee grinder precisely for the purposes spoken of here. Sometimes I throw some toasted cumin. I've actually ground my coarse grained sea salt slightly less, for fine grained, when I ran out of all purpose salt. I use the fine grained sea salt as what I call "all purpose salt" (for cooking).

I love grey salt (Celtic salt) as a "finishing" salt on most things. (I've noticed that David Chiarello guy on the foodnetwork seems to use grey salt as his all purpose salt. I always say that even expensive salt isn't that expensive, because salt is cheap, but wouldn't dream of putting grey salt into pasta water.) I rarely use the fleur de sel, because I usually forget about it.

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This thread

has a discussion on various types of salt. I sort of collect salts from various places.

The Pacific Salt (natural sea salt) from New Zealand comes in several grades from coarse (chunky) to superfine. I get it at my local health food store. It is not at all expensive.

As noted above, you can grind any salt in a spice mill to make it superfine. It is best to hold the top on and invert the mill several times while it is running, so as to get an evenly ground result.

You can also add spices and dried herbs for flavoring it.

Experiment with different combinations. I recently tried a combination of sage and juniper berry for flavoring turkey jerky. Interesting flavor.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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A newbie question about salt. You can pay seemingly any amount for it. I use coarse kosher salt from Whole Foods for salting meats, etc prior to cooking and i use regular table salt for salting food to taste.

Why would one use more expensive types of salt (ie, $11 "french sea salt" from Williams Sonoma) for cooking? The ions dissociate into Na+Cl-, and you "taste" the Na+. What about these more expensive salts makes them 'better' than plain old Mortons?

I am assuming there are other trace elements in these pricer salt which make them attractive, or is it simply "snobbery" value (for lack of a better expression!). I agree, the "french salts" and whatnot look very appealing, but in your soup, does it matter :blink: ??

Thanks :biggrin:

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In your soup -- probably not but I do enjoy them as "finishing" salts on steak for instance -- and yes, there is probably a fair bit of snob appeal. :biggrin:


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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The chemical composition of different salts is essentially identical. The only significant difference is the size of the crystals. With larger crystals, you occasionally get a burst of salty flavor. This effect disappears if the salt is dissolved, e.g., in soup.

Robert F. Wolke, a chemistry professor and Washington Post columnist, explains all:

http://www.wwrecipes.com/salt.htm

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Generally I use kosher salt for just about everything. The appeal of occasional use of the specialty salts, at least to me, is the "crunch" factor. Sometimes I like the huge crystals of "coarse" sea salt (the cheapest I can find), other times (particularly for use on buttered bread) I like Maldon flakes.


Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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I'm no chemist but I enjoy a variety of salts for different uses and I don't think it's all hype, since I don't buy pricey ones typically. I find a distinct metallic taste in average table salt and consequently carry salt (& pepper) mills with me at all times. It might just be me, but when I do succumb to the salt shaker on the table, it has a distinct taste that I don't care for.

Right now, in my kitchen, there's a large-ish vessel of kosher salt near the stove, for most things, and smaller vessels of grey salt, pink salt and fleur du sel. If you pressed me to explain why I choose to use one over another for a specific purpose, I might/might not be able to articulate my reason, beyond experience and preferences.

Before you decide whether to "buy in" to the whole salt thing, I think it's important to assess the relative importance of salt in your taste palate and life. I know people who have 4-5 kinds of sugar but, as I rarely use sugar, that is something I would not do. But I use salt in nearly everything and consider it an important element in the finished taste of almost every dish, so getting it right matters to me.


Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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I am a chemist and salt is NaCl. The differences are what is in sea salt after evaporation in addition to the NaCl. Fleur de sel is appealling for its texture on say good tomatoes or a good steak. It is a waste to use it in soup. I use kosher salt most of the time for its ease of use and mildness.


Cooking is chemistry, baking is alchemy.

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The 2 things that really got me into salt were David Rosengarten describing some Malden salt he was served as a side with a stuffed nappa cabbage dish, you were supped to dip each bite...and the insanity of Moon salt. Only collected under a full moon, which I thought was over the top until I realized the highest tide comes with the full moon so there would be more minerals churned up.

I have this book its very cool

http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=br_ss_...s&keywords=salt

tracey


Edited by rooftop1000 (log)

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

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For cooking I use coarse pickling salt as it has no none-caking agents or iodine, it is pure NaCl. I like Maldon or grey seal salt for finishing. (At least the 6th thread on salt I've commented on over the years) :biggrin: .

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The chemical composition of different salts is essentially identical. The only significant difference is the size of the crystals. With larger crystals, you occasionally get a burst of salty flavor. This effect disappears if the salt is dissolved, e.g., in soup.

Robert F. Wolke, a chemistry professor and Washington Post columnist, explains all:

http://www.wwrecipes.com/salt.htm

I don't buy this. For example, Indian black salt would never be mistaken for pure NaCl.

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For cooking I use coarse pickling salt as it has no none-caking agents or iodine, it is pure NaCl.

Huh? I thought pickling salt was ultra-fine so that it would dissolve into cold water.

Anyway, to cook with, I almost exclusively use Sel de Guerende which is a Brittany Grey Sea Salt. It's about $6 AUD a Kg ($2 USD a lb) and the amount of salt used is typically so small that I at least allow myself this one small luxury. It might be purely psychological but I find it gives a much more rounded and rich flavour to dishes than pure table salts. It reacts far better to oversalting because it seems to drag all the other flavours up with it. I also have Maldons for use with searing steaks, finishing salads and sandwiches with. It's a bit more pricy at around $25/Kg but I have barely touched half a box in a year and the extra texture is really worth it. I also keep a box of normal table salt around for brining and pasta water.


PS: I am a guy.

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i just use kosher, for the simple reason that i've been using kosher salt for my entire cooking career now; and can more or less accurately season by touch. larger and smaller grains throw me off. i've used smoked sea salt before and it's pretty cool stuff; also we have this chinese sea salt that has HUGE crystals; we use this for seasoning beef that gets seared.

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eipi10: Interesting, I had never heard of black salt (kala namak). Googling indicates that it is unrefined and includes sodium sulfate and other oxygenated sulfur salts. This apparently yields eau de sulfur upon dissolving. Yup, I guess that would taste (or smell) different. Some of the web sites caution against eating too much black salt (true for plain salt too, I guess).

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I have regular salt, fleur de sel, and kosher salt.  I use regular salt and kosher almost interchangeably.  I think once I use up my regular salt, I'll stick to kosher...I like the larger granules.  I use fleur de sel when I want to "taste" the salt on top of the food, i.e., tomatoes, salad, etc.  Ok...I've really offered no great insight.<p>The reason I'm really posting here is because you all reminded me of a problem I have regarding salt shakers.  I keep my kosher salt in a little bowl in the cupboard b/c I can't seem to find a shaker w/ holes large enough to accomodate the salt.  Although, I must say that I do like keeping the salt in the bowl as it is easier to grab and sprinkle into my dishes.  Maybe I just need to find a small bowl with a cover instead of a shaker.<p>Any recommendations?  

I bought a cinnamon sugar stainless shaker at IKEA for about 3 bucks that is the perfect shaker for kosher salt.

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Haven't read all six pages...I love, on a rare occasion, over a nice juicy steak, welsh smoked salt. "smoked in aged welsh oak." Facinating flavor and a great finish for the right items...

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