Fleur de sel to Kosher & Beyond
May 23, 2007 5:00 PM   Subscribe

What are some interesting salts you’ve come across?

A very close friend of mine absolutely adores salt. He adds salt to almost everything he consumes [even if it has already been salted]. I’ve always joked that I would sign him up for a salt of the month club if there were one. His birthday is coming up in a month so I want to give him a collection of interesting salts that I can find. I’ve collected about 10 different types so far (mostly sea salts from a bunch of places). I’m looking for other salts (one that come from specific regions and flavored ones. e.g. garlic salt [but something more obscure]) that I can buy and add to the collection.

PS: I know The Onion store has a salt of the month club gag gift box. I plan to give him all of this salt in that box.
posted by special-k to Food & Drink (31 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I get panicky whenever I run out of Jane's Krazy Mixed Up Salt. maybe not fancy enough for your purposes, but really good stuff.
posted by thebrokedown at 5:08 PM on May 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

I have some kind of Himalayan pink salt which looks pretty, at the very least (although it occurs to me I haven't actually used it yet).
posted by ambilevous at 5:13 PM on May 23, 2007

You could also buy him a book called Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky.

If you have a Whole Foods nearby, you should try looking in salt section. I've only tried one or two since a few of the more exotic salts were mixed with something that made my eyes sting when I got near them.
posted by Cog at 5:13 PM on May 23, 2007

ambilevous: Good suggestion. I got some of that at my local asian store. It's labeled Black salt and tastes quite sulphery. It's supposed to taste really good on grilled corn (with lime).
posted by special-k at 5:15 PM on May 23, 2007

Buy him a salt lick. They're actually quite pretty. And salty.
posted by iconomy at 5:15 PM on May 23, 2007

I personally like Smoked Celtic Sea Salt or you can get Pink Hawaiian Salt or Kiawe smoked salt. Saltworks.us seems like a good place to get a large variety.
posted by petethered at 5:17 PM on May 23, 2007

petethered: thanks! Saltworks.us seems to carry a huge selection.
posted by special-k at 5:22 PM on May 23, 2007

I use my Truffle salt on everything. Everything.
posted by emyd at 5:32 PM on May 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

Seriously, Whole Foods isn't a bad place to start. They tend to have a decent bulk selection at reasonable prices compared to pre-packed containers at specialty stores.
posted by kcm at 5:38 PM on May 23, 2007

This isn't a direct answer to your salt seeking (although I do second Jane's Krazy Mixed Up! It's all I ever use aside from Kosher Salt), but you can indeed buy him a Salt of the Month Club box, maybe use it to wrap another salty gift?
posted by nelleish at 5:46 PM on May 23, 2007

Whole Foods has a fun podcast and there was a recent episode on salts. It's 10 minutes long and you can listen to it online.
posted by HotPatatta at 5:54 PM on May 23, 2007

Maldon Salt. A sea salt that is in flakes--looks like snow flakes!

It's from England and I've seen it at Williams Sonoma.
posted by subatomiczoo at 6:00 PM on May 23, 2007

I know it doesn't answer your question at all, but your friend might also enjoy Mark Kurlansky's Salt: A World History - I really thought it was interesting anyway...
posted by blaneyphoto at 6:01 PM on May 23, 2007

Someone already mentioned pink hiwaiian sea salt, I get a kind that has some sort of natural clay in it (maybe it always does) from here that's really good. Another cool thing to give would be a salt mill/grinder.
posted by catatethebird at 6:22 PM on May 23, 2007

Seconding that truffle salt, it really is appreciably good on everything.
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:30 PM on May 23, 2007

A few years ago we brought Lavender Salt back from a trip to Maui, and have since ordered more from the same place. Very good on fish and chicken, especially grilled.
posted by librarianamy at 6:41 PM on May 23, 2007

Murray River Salt. Take some, please!
posted by zamboni at 6:44 PM on May 23, 2007

A quote I read yesterday for the chemistry nerds among us:

Beryllium salts are easily soluble and mostly have a sweetish taste.

Do NOT eat the chemicals!
posted by kjs4 at 7:02 PM on May 23, 2007

tricing the truffle salt. it adds a fantastic flavor to everything, but i think it's best on simple things: mashed potatoes, buttered pasta, roasted veggies. otherwise you're wasting all that truffly goodness!
posted by thinkingwoman at 7:10 PM on May 23, 2007

Take the suggestions on Truffle Salt for sure and add that to the present box. The stuff is pricey but worth the cost for a true salt fanantic. He will really appreciate the stuff on everything from popcorn to any beef. As far as salts go, I have tasted a lot of it, and it is above and beyond any I have put in my mouth thus far.
posted by bkeene12 at 7:11 PM on May 23, 2007

Anguilla Saltworks Company is the posh modern incarnation of a salt company that was originally started around 150 yrs. ago. While they now only sell 4 sets of bath salts (named after 4 bays of the island, but not the Road Bay salt pond from which the salt comes) the salt company has a storied history.

I couldn't find any links online, so this could be infused with some BS I picked up from the lucky citizens of the island, but the salt from Road bay was supposedly sold to Nova Scotian schooners and used for salting cod caught up near Canada. Hence the taste for saltfish (salted cod) became commonplace in some of the Lesser Antilles in the 1800's and still is today. Another item left by the schooners were the great blocks of nova scotian rock used for ballast that the boats no longer needed when loaded down with salt. There is a very alien granite reef in the middle of the bay made out of rocks from 1000s of miles away.

Anyway, there's a one in a million chance you could get your hands on some of that original salt, but you could get the bath salts, which are still made from a 2000 harvest of the pond. The last harvest for culinary use was in the 1980's I think. The seawater bubbles up into the pond, and the evaporation causes salt crystals to form at the bottom. The building that once housed the pumping equipment (to pump out diluting rainwater) is now a restaurant called the Pumphouse. Oh! and they have a history page with alot of info!

(Just so you know, the new saltworks company-- to my knowledge-- has no affiliation with the original salt company or The Pumphouse owners. The Pumphouse restaurant and bar is, however, still in the family that owned it when it was involved in the salt mining business, I think.)

Maybe you could find a written history of salt companies in the West Indies for your friend! There's certainly enough material to write a book!
posted by conch soup at 9:13 PM on May 23, 2007

A lamp, perhaps?
posted by misozaki at 9:26 PM on May 23, 2007

We regularly use chili salt, mustard salt and rosemary salt. They're all nice.

What about some dried saltbush flakes, for something completely different?
posted by robcorr at 9:32 PM on May 23, 2007

Here's a neat salt storage option.

And some fun salt to put in it.
posted by intoxicate at 10:14 PM on May 23, 2007

Flor de Sal from Es trenc, Mallorca. A recipe here mentions "portabellas" thus a must for Mefites.
posted by adamvasco at 12:35 AM on May 24, 2007

I think Nelleish and The Onion deserve the prize for most unexpectedly useful product ever created on a whim.
posted by ZackTM at 6:01 AM on May 24, 2007

I like
posted by escabeche at 6:04 AM on May 24, 2007

Oops. I like Zalta green garlic salt.
posted by escabeche at 6:04 AM on May 24, 2007

You could get him a salt mill (I know I've seen one that's clear and gives a view of the oh-so-interesting large salt crystals inside, although not on that page).

Um, you're sure this guy doesn't have high blood pressure or liver problems? It sounds like he eats a _lot_ of salt... salting things that are already salted? I know this wasn't your question, and I apologize in advance for my presumption, but I can't help but worry just a tiny bit. You probably wouldn't be asking this if he had any relevant health issues, but I thought I'd mention this just in case.
posted by amtho at 6:25 AM on May 24, 2007

The Spice House also has a good selection of interesting salts, as well as a gift box of four salt selections. Their Portuguese "Salt Cream" and personal "Vulcan's Fire" blends are quite good ... they've also got the becoming-standard smoked, black, red, himalayan pink, fleur de sel, grey salt, etc. I highly recommend them.
posted by the luke parker fiasco at 8:56 AM on May 24, 2007

I second (third?) the smoked salt - it's a great tool. There are a few different types of smoked salt, and they provide an interesting array of salty smoky goodness.
posted by rush at 8:59 AM on May 24, 2007

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