How to Make Magic with the New Sea Salts
The hottest trend in food right now is the new sea salts. Salts bring flavors alive. The new salts are purer but have trace minerals that our bodies need. Mostly, they make foods taste better from sweet to savory.
Salts are great carriers for other flavors. For years we used seasoned salts like garlic and celery salt. But it’s a whole new world of cooking with smoked salt and salts with intense flavors like chipotle and maple.
Sea salts may be used in cooking, baking, and grilling.
Categories of Sea Salts
You can categorize sea salts into four groups:
- Natural Sea Salts. These are pure sea salts with naturally occurring minerals remaining. (Some processors may add anti-caking additives.)
- Smoked Sea Salts. These are natural sea salts cold smoked for long periods to give them intense smoky flavors.
- Savory Sea Salts. These are natural sea salts mixed with savory substances from garlic to lime to chipotle. These are intense enough to flavor your food.
- Sweet Sea Salts. These are natural sea salts mixed with sweet substances such maple syrup to create a sweet-salty flavor.
How to Use Your Sea Salts
For baked goods.
Sea salts are often sprinkled over the baked goods—cookies or cakes—or over ice cream to create tiny pockets of flavor and to intensify flavors. The rule of thumb is to use as much sea salt as garnish as what the recipe calls for. That will make your cookies or cakes twice as salty. That’s a little too much for me. So I’m going to cut the salt in the recipe by up to half and be a little sparse in garnish so that total salt is only 50% more than what is called for in the recipe.
Cookies are usually garnished with salt before they are baked. Cakes are usually garnished with a sprinkling on the frosting. Ice cream is easy; add little salt, take a bite, and try some more.
For smoked and savory salts.
Many of the savory and smoked salts—the ones we carry—pack a punch. If you salt your steak with one of our smoked salts just as you normally would with table salt, your steak will have a wonderful smoked flavor. There is no need to over-salt your meat.
For sweet sea salts.
Sweet flavors like maple don’t pack the punch that smoke or chipotle does. If you put it on your steak, the sweet flavor is going to be faint. But I think these are perfect salts for baked goods.
Expand your horizons with other applications.
Your use is only limited by your imagination. Have fun exploring. Add sea salts to the following:
- Drink rimmer
- Brines and cures
- Fried food
- Olive oil (for bread dipping)
- Fresh fruit
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