Guide to Sea Salts
Sea salt is the essence of the sea, including a valuable portfolio of trace elements and minerals to nourish our bodies and season food with. There is a wide range of sea salts from different parts of the world, each with different qualities, texture, color, grain, and subtle collection of flavor.
High quality seas salts are harvested and dried with integrity to offer the best of their natural attributes. The finest sea salt is dried either by the sun or tended at low temperatures to preserve precious elements, mineral, and delicate flavors. I find matching salt with dishes brings subtle harmony and magic to the balance of flavor.
CELTIC SEA SALT (French)
Celtic sea salt is a pure, naturally moist, pale grey sea salt. It is hand-harvested from the pristine Atlantic waters off Brittany, France, using the same traditional methods used 2,000 years ago. Dried in the sun to preserve abundant, valuable trace minerals, Celtic sea salt has a mild, pure flavor. It is available in coarse grind, fine grind, and extra-fine grind.
SOUL OF THE SEA (Hawaii)
Soul of the Sea salt is harvested from the pure ocean waters of Moloaki, one of the small outer islands of Hawaii. It is solar dried with ancient and modern technology to lock in the naturally occurring trace minerals and elements, electrolytes and complex flavors.
Papohaku White- Glittering, snow-white crystals with immaculate taste and silky texture.
Hawaiian Red- Infused with the legendary, medicinal red Alae clay of Hawaii, this salt is a burnt crimson color and has a slightly nutty flavor.
Hawaiian Black Lava- Glistening crystals are infused with lava rock for a complex flavor and mineral finish.
OSHIMA ISLAND SALT (Japanese)
This sun-dried sea salt is harvested and crafted in the majestic volcanic island of Oshima off the coast of Japan. It is highly mineralized with an exceptionally pure taste and clean finish.
SMOKED SEA SALTS
Smoked sea salt is naturally smoked over wood fires to infuse a deep smoky aroma and flavor. There are several choice smoked salts on the market. When purchasing, be sure products are natural and not infused with artificial flavor.
HALEN MÔN SMOKED SALT (UK)
An absolutely divine, pure, organic, Welch salt from the Anglesey Sea, which is smoked over oak wood chips to yield a deep-seated aroma and distinctly smoky-sweet flavor. It’s fine, delicate flakes melt easily to infuse a tantalizing smoky flavor. Perfect as a subtle yet distinctive seasoning to finish a dish.
MAINE SMOKED SALT
A sea salt from Maine, which is cool-smoked over a well tended fire of hickory and alder wood for a mild, yet distinct flavor and aroma.
SALISH SMOKED SALT (Pacific Nothwest)
Salish smoked salt is prepared in the traditional methods of the Salish Native Americans of the Puget Sound region of Washington State. Coarsely ground sea salt is smoked over the fire of Red Alderwood, indigenous to the Pacific Northwest. Best used in marinades or as a rub as the grains are quite coarse and need a little time to dissolve.
FLAKE SALTS AND FINISHING SALTS
Fine salts with exquisite texture and unique character are well worth considering as finishing salt. They are premium quality and best used in the last stages of seasoning, to finish a dish.
FLEUR DE SEL (French)
Fleur de Sel, or flower of salt, is an artisan sea salt of delicate crystals, which naturally form just on the surface of ponds where sea salt evaporates. Its name comes from the distinct smell of violets that develops as the salt dries. True Fleur de Sel is from the Guérande region in France. Like fine wine regions, different areas within Guérande produce salts with their own characteristics. Naturally moist, Fleur de Sel has a fine, clean flavor exceptional as a finishing salt.
MALDON SEA SALT (UK)
Maldon sea salt is a fragile, crumbly, pyramid-shaped crystal of salt. Harvested from the ‘spring-tides’ of North Sea waters off of the east coast of England, this flake salt contains all of the valuable trace elements of seawater and the complex flavors of delicate sea spray. Maldon Salt
MURRAY RIVER SALT
Some of the finest salt is ecologically harvested from a salt deposit under the Murray River in Australia. These delicate flakes are an unusual rose quartz color. They melt quickly and evenly into food with a clean mild flavor. Perfect for finishing or to serve in a small bowl to show off its pretty color.
HIMALAYAN CRYSTAL SALT
Himalayan Crystal Salt is hand harvested from veins of salt high in the Himalayan Mountains. This salt is 250 million years-old (yes, really) with a pink glow like rose quartz. Given its age, it is absolutely pristine, with a strong flavor as pure and clean as salt comes. One of the many intriguing things about this salt is how heavy in weight it is. Because it has been under such intense pressure for such a long time it is extraordinarily dense and therefore powerfully salty. It feels much heavier than it ought to be. It is believed that the lengthy duress over a quarter billion years has compressed the structure of Himalayan salt into perfect a perfect crystal. A little goes a long way.
Fine grind: Finely ground close to a powder with a pale link hue, a very potent flavor and clean finish.
Coarse grind: Rough pieces, similarly with a strong, clean salty flavor and pink hue. Best used in a ceramic mill designed for salt to manage the potency and distribution of salty flavor in a dish (ie: to avoid small, crunchy rocks in a dish)
Crystal Stones: Exquisite dense chunks of salt that look like rough chunks of rose quartz, measuring about and inch or so. To use, they must be dissolved in water to make a brine (salty water), which is great as a liquid salt to season dressings, marinades, sauces and soups.
CRYSTAL SOLE- A balanced ocean of energy
Sole is a tonic made with stones of Himalayan Crystal Salt and pure water, which may be beneficial to healthfully balancing the body. Drinking sole may help harmonize and balance the acid-alkaline pH of the body, cleanse the intestines, and is said to normalize blood pressure. [Author’s note to Editor- there is evidence in regards to normalizing blood pressure, though am uncertain if this is too close to medical advice…thoughts?]
To make sole- Place a number of Himalayan Crystal salt stones in a jar of pure water overnight (Fiji water is recommended as the best for this). The amount of stones and water will vary according to the size of the jar. If all of the salt stones dissolve, add more until the water is totally saturated and cannot dissolve any more salt. The water will naturally become completely saturated at 26% (26 parts of salt to 100 parts of water), no more no less. This ratio has a magical spell around it, relating to both the saline waters of the ocean, and the percentage of salt in our blood, sweat and tears. Interesting.
The recommended dose of sole is 1 teaspoon daily. This can be done by mixing in a glass of water (spring water is recommended) on an empty stomach, mixed into a quart of water to drink throughout the day, or included with food as a liquid salt for seasoning, marinades, dressing and soup.
The regularity of taking sole is said to be the key to unlock its healing benefits.
(For more information and evidence check out Water & Salt, the essence of life, by Dr. Barbara Hendel)