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Sprinkle a Little Colour

Beyond the same old salt

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Sprinkle a Little Colour

Salt gets a bad rap most of the time, but our bodies need it. It is essential for digestion, respiration, and maintaining the body's electrolyte balance. It's also important to limit your daily salt intake to no more than 5.8 g per day (about a teaspoon). If you're going to salt your food, however, go beyond bland, boring, white table salt.

Salt gets a bad rap most of the time, but our bodies need it. It is essential for digestion, respiration, and maintaining the body’s electrolyte balance.

It’s also important to limit your daily salt intake to no more than 5.8 g per day (about a teaspoon). If you’re going to salt your food, however, go beyond bland, boring, white table salt.

The Colours of Salt

You can buy many types of sea salts, salt blends, and smoked salts.

Salt is an edible rock, made up of sodium chloride, minerals, and clay or lava. Whether mined from the earth or evaporated from salt water, salts have an intriguing crystal structure. Colour, flavour, and mineral content vary according to terrain. Sold fine, coarse, in flakes, rocks, or chunks, salt can be pink, grey, white, black, or blue.

Seasoning With Style

“North Americans use too much salt at the beginning or the end of cooking” says Ontario chef and cookbook author Laura Buckley, who is a salt expert.

How does one properly salt food while cooking? Many chefs favour a three-step approach. First, season fish, meat, or poultry with a little salt before cooking. Next, adjust the taste with another pinch during cooking. Finally, sprinkle another few grains of freshly ground salt on top just before serving the cooked dish.

Sprinkle fleur de sel sea salt over a piece of fair trade dark chocolate. This salt comes from the Gu?nde region in France, and I consider it the “extra virgin olive oil” of salt. What makes this salt so incredibly delicious is the fact that it is raked from the tops of salt marshes and can be compared to a first pressing of olives.

Sprinkle fresh tomatoes with a pinch of Bolivian rock salt; use Sicilian sea salt over leafy greens; and stir Celtic sea salt into stews.

It’s time to move over that wedge of Parmigiano Reggiano; cheese is no longer the only ingredient we freshly grate at the table.

Single-sourced and salt blends can be bought in gourmet specialty or health food stores.


Single-Source Salts

Maldon: light sharp flakes from England
Jurassic: from Utah
Trapani: from Sicily
Balinese: fine grain
Marlborough: flaky sea salt from New Zealand
Murray River: from Australia, a lightweight, crunchy salt
Hawaiian algae: sea salt tinted pink by volcanic clay, iron
Bolivian rock salt: pink chunk, can be grated at table

Blended Salts

Sweet salts: mixed with dried fruit, citrus peel, dark chocolate, vanilla, cane sugar. Use as a garnish for desserts.
Saffron salt: preserves saffron’s flavour
Chili salt: a rough, red salt made in Santa Fe with sea salt, chilies, and red bell peppers
Flower and herb salt: Italian sea salt blended with jasmine, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, and camomile
Vege salt: sea salts mixed with yeasts, seaweeds, organic vegetables, and soybean extracts

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