Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sea Salt: The Perfect Finish

With the exception of coffee beans and olive oils, I can think of nothing more taste-bud awakening than the flavors of the different sea salts available. These salts brighten up and enhance the taste and appearance of any dish.
Below I have listed several that I enjoy at home or have enjoyed in the homes of my friends. Because I can no better explain these delicacies than their creators or suppliers, I will quote their descriptions.

Follow me into Salt Succulence!

I will begin with Williams Sonoma, where I frequently visit and become lost in my own little kitchen heaven.

Black Truffle Salt

Capturing the seductive, earthy character of black truffles, this specialty salt will soon become one of your most frequently used ingredients. Its richly nuanced truffle flavor is derived from generous amounts of Italy's fresh black summer truffles from Abruzzi. Mixed with Italian sea salt, the crushed truffles create an aromatic condiment that enhances a variety of foods. Sprinkle a little on everything from grilled meats and vegetables to roasted potatoes and scrambled eggs. Or for a luxurious snack, try it with hot, buttered popcorn.

Fleur de Sel

Prized for its delicate flavor, fleur de sel, literally the "flower of salt," has been gathered on the island of Ré, off France's Atlantic coast, since the seventh century. Sun and wind evaporate the sea water, leaving fine, light crystals that are skimmed from the surface of salt pans. Beloved by centuries of good cooks, it is distinguished by a subtle, pure flavor and high concentration of minerals. An excellent all-around seasoning.

I so much enjoy browsing through the Sur La Table catalog and believe these items are worth a try.

Italian White-Truffle Oil and Salt

From the heart of Piedmont, truffle-infused accents to enhance the flavor of pasta, meat, vegetables, salads and more. The oil has a bouquet of fresh vegetables, almonds and fruit while the salt is grey salt from the Atlantic Ocean; use in hot and cold dishes.

Fusion Black Truffle Sea Salt

Sea salts are combined with pure, natural flavor to create new and interesting seasonings for food and cooking. Fresh ingredients are infused without compromising the purity of the sea salt. A genuine treasure imported from Italy, Black Truffle utilizes the salt to intensify the aroma and complex flavors of this exquisite mushroom. Ideal with egg dishes, pasta, mashed potatoes, red meat and even on buttered popcorn. A product of the USA.

Academia Barilla Sicilian Sea Salt with Black Olives

Harvesting in the world-famous natural-reserve salt pans of Trapani, Sicily, Academia Barilla uses only the purest salt that is rich with essential minerals, iodine and magnesium, and a lower sodium content. Natural sea salt is blended by hand with the most fragrant Italian olives. By taking great detail into the harvesting process, the salt has a more intense flavor that goes perfectly with heavier fare. Pair with pastas, sauces, red meats, game and fish. Only a small amount is needed for a truly delicious, full-bodied dish. Store at room temperature. Stays fresh for up to three years. Made in Italy.

Dean and Deluca. What else do I need to say? The sea salt products they carry are beautiful.

Salt Plates and Salt Bricks

Mined from ancient salt deposits buried beneath the Himalayas for millions of years, these natural salt plates and bricks are perfect for serving sushi, salads and appetizers, or for cooking thinly sliced Wagyu beef or seafood right at the table. Varying pink hues come from natural minerals, and no two pieces will be the same.

DEAN & DELUCA Salt Essentials

We've selected six remarkable artisanal salts from around the world, each picked for its unique texture, flavor and character. Murray River is a mild, salmon colored flaky salt that adds flavor and texture to your meat and chops. Himalayan Pink is harvested from the beds of ancient sea salt with a mild flavor and pale pink color. Alaea has natural purified Alaea clay that imparts a mild earthiness. Mix with herbs to coat meats or fish that seals in moisture while roasting. Fleur de sel is known as the caviar of salts with a delicate flavor and moist texture. Fumee de sel has a savory oak flavor with a hint of sweetness. Cyprus flake is an extremely mild salt used for cooking, baking and garnishing.

SINCE TOMORROW IS THANKSGIVING I thought I would add a checklist that Bon Appetit has on their page. While we are within a day of Thanksgiving, I found this just as helpful for a Christmas meal. BON APPETIT!



Happy Thanksgiving to all of my friends. I hope that your day is filled with good memories, food and family!
See you Friday.
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