salt 1

On Salt

salt 2I love salt, I have for years. I loved it ever since I discovered that there was a world of salt out there, salts far more interesting than the table salt I grew up using — the very salt I wouldn’t touch today.

I love to use salt to enhance the flavors of my food, but I don’t like eating salty food. Therein lies one of the keys to using salt correctly: the flavors should spring to life and the taste of salt should be subtle. Salt is an important ingredient in any kitchen. As per instructions from one of my chefs while working in their kitchen; when boiling vegetables (excluding blanching tomatoes) the water should “taste like salt water”.

To prove the point, bring two pots of water to a boil. To one of them add a generous amount of salt, to the other add nothing. Boil the same type of vegetable in both pots for the same length of time, then plunge both into an ice bath to retard the cooking. Taste them both. The one cooked without salt will taste flat and bland, while the one cooked in salt water will taste of wonderful, delicious vegetable flavors.

SaltI have an array of various sea salts on my counter, from Murray River to Sel Gris to Salish (very smokey) to delicately flavored Maldon flakes, as well as numerous others, which I use according to how I’m feeling and what I’m preparing — but always as a finishing salt. When I’m baking I use fine crystal Baleine Sea Salt, otherwise my go-to salt is Diamond Kosher salt. I use kosher salt for cooking, and always when I’m boiling water for vegetables or pasta.

Note: Salt is great at keeping the temperature of boiling water high, but it also acts in the opposite way, to keep temperatures low. For this reason, never add salt to the water until it is already boiling, otherwise it will take a longer time to get to the boiling point.

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