Salt

Salt

By
From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery

Salt for the table, an almost pure form of sodium chloride, has since ancient times been a valuable commodity to man. It imparts flavour to food and is indispensable in cooking. Our bodies need salt to survive. There are two types of salt: rock (or mined) salt and sea salt (called solar salt). Seasoned salts such as celery salt or vegetable salt are simply a blend of salt with herbs or spices.

Types of salt:

Rock salt: Rock salt is mined from where it occurs in layers from the evaporation of land-locked seas of past geological ages. Untreated rock salt is said to have the best flavour of all salts. Most cooking or kitchen salt is finely ground refined rock salt with magnesium carbonate added to make it freerunning. Rock salt is also used for pickling salt, which has no additives, and iodised salt, with iodine added, as the name suggests, for its health benefits.

Sea salt: Sea salt is obtained from seawater, either by direct evaporation or by the factory-finishing of saline concentrations from seawater pans. Sea salt is evaporated slowly by the sun, consists of large, irregular crystals and is best used as a topping to a dish or offered at the table in a salt dish. It is a waste to use the delicate crystals in cooking, when their delightful crunch is lost. Look for kosher salt to use for sauces, in soups and stocks and in seasoning liquid mixtures.

Gourmet salts: There is a growing number of ‘boutique’ salts available; all are best used where their contrasting textures contribute to overall flavour. The varying sizes and shapes of the crystals depend on how their brines were evaporated.

Fleur de sel: This comes from the French Atlantic coast and is regarded by many as the world’s finest salt, being texturally superior to most. When sun and wind conditions are ideal, fleur de sel, ‘flower of salt’, blossoms on the surface of the solar evaporation ponds. Its crystals have unique shapes because they can grow only downwards from the surface of the ponds.

Maldon sea salt: The coastal town of Maldon, Essex, England, has been a salt-producing centre since the Middle Ages. In fact, legend has it that the secret of salt-making from seawater was discovered there almost 2000 years ago, when the Romans ruled Britain. Maldon sea salt is considered to be one of the finest English sea salts. It has a powerful flavour and the pyramid-shaped crystals give a wonderful crunch and sparkle to food.

Australian Murray River salt flakes: These pale, apricot-coloured salt flakes are a favourite with gourmets. Salinity is a major and growing problem in Australia and an area of particular concern is the Murray–Darling Basin. Support for this salt helps towards stimulating the removal of salt from this sensitive area and assists in solving the inland salinity problem. Various other natural sea salt crystals are available, including Southern Ocean salt from the Great Australian Bight.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
see method for ingredients

Method

Tags:
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again