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Worth One's Salt: fleur de sel to kosher


lmarshal1
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I use Baleine for any food in which the salt will dissolve -- pasta water or soup or baking, for example, but for salads, meats, eggs, any general table salt usage, Maldon is my absolute favorite, for the texture. The only irritating thing is the wax paper baggie inside the box invariably rips and leaks salt all over the bottom of my cupboard. I pay 7.99 for a box at Kalustyan's on Lex. Totally worth it. I love eggs scrambled gently and sprinkled with a little bit of Maldon and a grind of pepper... it is like the Platonic ideal of breakfast.

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Baleine and Morton's Kosher are fine for everyday use. But it's also nice to have a nice fleur de sel to finish dishes. I prefer one w/ a little bit of moistre, as the texture and aroma is more pleasing than simple, dry crystals of salt.

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A friend whom I consider an expert chef in Greenville, South Carolina, John Malik of 33 Liberty, gave me a packet of Hawaiian red salt after a meal I had at his restaurant. Needless to say, I use it sparingly but consider it a very special treat to use.

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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I use Diamond Crystal as well for everyday seasoning. However when seasoning more delicate things like eggs and when using salt in baking I use a Sicilian sea salt, fine crystals.

Coarse Fleur de Sel is great for finishing a plate of grilled meat, or for salt and pepper crusts on steaks. It is also wonderful in certain desserts, I make a chocolate mousse cake with a caramel base. A pinch of Fleur de Sel in the caramel sauce gives it great salty-crunchy accents. I also generously sprinkle Fleur de Sel on Foccacia bread before baking it...yum...

Stefan Posthuma

Beer - Chocolate - Cheese

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I've always thought Maldon sea salt was the best based on appearance and texture. I have decided on inexpensive fine seasalt and coarse pickling salt (pure NaCl) for everyday because I can't taste any difference in the expensive stuff.

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Better yet, what kind of air do you breathe while buying salt?

SB (fine sea salt from Bob's Red Mill at the table and Kosher in the kitchen because I like to measure by feel)

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Maldon is my absolute favorite, for the texture.  The only irritating thing is the wax paper baggie inside the box invariably rips and leaks salt all over the bottom of my cupboard.

I decant my Maldon into a jar; it's a mess otherwise.

We always have the holy trinity of Maldon, Morton Kosher Salt and the red Hawaiian salt in the cupboard. (The Hawaiian stuff is great and not too expensive at stores in Hawaii, if you get there or have friends who go.) I'm going to buy the higher-rated fleur de sel on that list; I keep meaning to have fleur de sel in the house and never do.

Edited by Tess (log)
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I use Diamond Crystal kosher salt which is not iodized and has larger, flat flakes, quite different from Morton's kosher salt.

I also have several other types/brands of salt, both sea salt and mined "Real" salt, which unlike other mined salts, is mined and crushed, not extracted by water, refined and re-crystalized. It contains all the minerals that were deposited with it when it was laid down millions of years ago. RealSalt

I like the flavor very much.

I also have sea salt from New Zealand (flakey, fine and coarse), France (3 kinds, Brittany, Camarque and Fleur de Sel), Hawaii red salt, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Madagascar and England (Maldon), as well as Mexico and Chile. Also Maine sea salt and Himalayan pink salt.

Some are just little collectible items that I don't intend to use.

I also have a jar of the black salt which is a flavoring - containing sulphur compounds that make it smell like garlic and it is so strong I keep it in an additional container to keep it from permeating anything near it. (learned my lesson a few years ago).

Last week I ordered some Nazuna sea salt from Japan, having seen an article that mentioned it.

There are several more I intend to order, South African, Peruvian, etc.

I think it is interesting that something most people take for granted in its mundane form can be so different in other places around the globe.

"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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I use mostly Diamond kosher. I used to buy Morton’s, but now I prefer Diamond’s smaller, more delicate, and irregular flakes. Morton’s also has an additive listed as an ingredient, yellow prussiate of soda, while Diamond simply lists salt. I have nothing against yellow prussiate of soda, but it’s not in DKS and I certainly don’t miss it.

I bake with Sno-white brand salt made by the good folks that bring us Morton’s. It is non-iodized table salt that sells for $0.17 per 1 lb. can wherever off-brand, dirt-cheap grocery products can be found.

I really want some of that Japanese salt Jeffrey Steingarten mentions in the article quoted by Slate. If anyone has hooks, let me know.

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In the pantry right now:

Diamond Crystal kosher for cooking

plain old Morton's for baking, pasta water and making play dough

Halen Mon Welsh sea salt - very pretty pure white large crystals

Ball pickling salt for canning

Edited by hjshorter (log)

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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I adore Maldon's -- it's the salt that cured me of thinking that all this talk about the merits of different salts was something I'd never appreciate. We also decant ours into a salt cellar. Taking it directly from the bag-in-the-box is indeed a recipe for frustration.

"went together easy, but I did not like the taste of the bacon and orange tang together"

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Andie, any chance we can get you to snap some photos of your amazing salt collection?

Sure, but it will have to wait until tomorrow. I am bushed. Had to drive home through high winds and fighting to keep the van on the road just about did me in.

Now it is raining heavily, sideways! I have awnings over the west-facing windows and the rain is blowing in under the awnings and striking the windows almost like hail.

"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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I use Diamond Kosher Salt for just about everything. Got in the habit of using it when I worked in restaurants and love to be able measure by feel.

I also have some Japanese Natural Sea Salt (Arajio) that is a little finer for table salt.

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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In my family we always have good ole mortons iodized and then, for the finer things, some kosher salt. I must admit i don't remember the brand of the salt but it does the trick.

before i left australia i saw this pink salt in a few places. when i looked into it i found that it was salt taken from the River Murray that is currently over salinated (?). in order to help out with that problem they are extracting it and selling it. i thought it was a noble and tasty effort to help the environment and liven up foods...

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We have Diamond Crystal Kosher salt for boiling pasta, Baleine fine sea salt because my wife likes ot season food with it as she cooks and at the table, Baleine coarse because I like to put it in a salt grinder to have at the table. We also have both fleur de sel and sel gris from Guérande. I have an emotional attachment to the grey salt. It really seems so full of impurities that it seems organic. It's just wonderfully coarse and irregular to hold. I believe those impurities make it taste different, but I doubt I could taste the difference when it's dissolved. It's a purely emotional attachment to a place and I will buy more when I'm in Brittany next, but probably never pay a premium for it in a "gourmet shop." I use it in cooking where it dissolves. Fleur de sel is pure sel and I can't believe anyone would know they're using fleur de sel after it's been dissolved. It always seems like an affectation to use it in cooking. What makes it unique, useful and desireable is it's uniform size and it's particular crystaline structure. It actually has hooks that enable it to cling to food better and as somene else mentioned, it has a wonderful crunch. It also seems too expensive here. Although I understand why someone might pay the price, I'd probably hold out until I'm in Brittany next if I run out first. I don't really use it very often, but when I remember to pull it out, it adds a nice crunch. The commercial stuff is all in the original containers. The Breton salts are in large glass canning or jelly jars.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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I confess to a lack of salt appreciation. At present there are six different kinds of Japanese salts in the cupboard (courtesy of my dear Japanese mil), a variety of Hawaiian salts and Diamond Kosher. I use them all and, no doubt, appreciate none of them properly. I see that I must undertake a deeper understanding. The Australian salt peaks my interest. Anyone hankering for some Hawaiian salts feel free to PM me and we'll get some to off to you.

"Eat it up, wear it out, make it do or do without." TMJ Jr. R.I.P.

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I'm a Maldon guy - it's fairly reasonable in the UK (As you would expect really!)

I use any old table salt for salting pasta water though.

I'm off to Brittany next month, so might see if I can pick up any Guerande salt too.

I love animals.

They are delicious.

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Here are most of the salts I have. From left to right:

Photo # 1

Diamond Crystal kosher.

Red Hawaiian

Himalayan pink

French grey sea salt, Ille de Ré

French Camarque salt (green bowl) I keep it in a half pint Mason jar so it won't dry out.

front is sea salt from Greece

gallery_17399_60_43620.jpg

Next:

Baleine fine.

French sea salt medium.

Belgium sea salt. (also a moist one)

gallery_17399_60_153722.jpg

Third photo:

New Zealand coarse

New Zealand fine

In the front New Zealand medium flakey

Real Salt - mined in Redmond, Utah

fine and coarse

Sea salt from Italy

gallery_17399_60_217246.jpg

I am missing some. I can't find the Maldon or the black salt which should have been in the pantry but has apparantly been put away somewhere else and my housekeeper is not here today to help me look.

There are probably a couple of more but since they are on a top shelf out of my reach, I am not going to hunt for them today.

I also have a bunch of salts with various seasonings added, some coarse, meant to be ground at table, others just fine salts with herbs and spices.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"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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  • 7 months later...

I confess that at one time I was a scoffer: salt is salt, right?

Now I am a born-again convert to Colima sea salt, which is a slightly moist, slightly sweet coarse-grain salt harvested on the western coast of Mexico. The flavor is far superior to any other salt I've tried.

And a kilo bag of it is only 10 pesos ($1.00 USD). It's sold everywhere near its points of production, including along the side of the roads in the area. I'm at the end of a portion of a kilo that was given to me by friends and am about ready to break open a new bag.

Andie, if I had a way to send you some, I would. Your pictures are marvelous, thank you for posting them.

What's new at Mexico Cooks!?

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