Monday, September 12, 2011

More on Salt... A Review of Salt from SaltWorks, Inc...

First off, my taste buds are dancing from all the great flavor from dinner tonight! I decided to taste all the samples tonight, in different applications, so I could compare tastes between salts. Here are the list of salts that I was able to try:
Fusion Black Truffle Salt
Fusion Thai Ginger Salt
Fusion Vanilla Bean Salt
Fusion Roasted Garlic Salt
Fusion Wild Porcini Salt
Artisan Fleur de Sel
Artisan Salish Alder wood Smoked Salt
Artisan Alaea Hawaiian Sea Salt
Artisan Hiwa Kai Black Lava Sea Salt
Artisan Murray River Salt

I decided to grill some chicken and choose 2 different salts to try: The Wild Porcini and the Salish Smoked salts. They turned out beautifully, the Salish smoked chicken had a hint of smokiness to it and the flavor was well distributed because of the fine grind. The Wild Porcini lent a distinct mushroom essence to the chicken breast as well as a bit of crunch from the salt crystals.

On the top picture, you can see the Wild Porcini Salt Crystals, compared to the finer Salish Smoked Salt.

The next application I chose was as a finishing salt for zucchini. I stuck with the Hawaiian salts, both the Alaea (red salt) and Hiwa Kai (black salt). They both had an earthiness to them, but the black salt had presentation going for it. It contrasted the food so well and really made a great statement.

Above, is the striking Hiwa Kai Black Sea Salt on Roasted Zucchini.

 Here is the Alaea Hawaiian Salt on Roasted Zucchini     
On the grilled bread, I chose 3 salts to showcase. Murray river salt, which has a pleasing peachy-pink color and an interesting flake texture; Black Truffle salt, which actually has pieces of truffles in the salt; and Roasted Garlic salt, not your average garlic salt! I found the Murray River salt to have a great, versatile flavor good on many dishes. The Black Truffle salt was rich in truffle flavor and would lend a gourmet flavor to risotto, pizza, pasta, or whatever your heart desires. The Roasted Garlic salt was perfect for the bread, full of rich garlic flavor infused directly into the salt.

For dessert, we sampled the last few salts on a Maple Caramel. Thai Ginger, Fleur de Sel, and Vanilla Bean. I found the Thai Ginger to be one of my favorites, with the zip of spicy ginger flavor that melded so well into the Caramel. A close second was the Vanilla Bean salt, rich with real Tahitian vanilla beans blended with the salt. Fleur de Sel is a fantastic, somewhat moist salt that was very versatile and probably my husbands favorite on the caramel.
Above is the Thai Ginger Salt

This is the Vanilla Bean Salt - you can see the vanilla! 
      Fleur de Sel

In closing, my review of salt has opened a new world of taste for me! I highly recommend trying some of these fantastic flavors. For a beginner, I would get a universal salt, such as the Murray River, Fleur de Sel, or Himalayan Pink Salt as well as a couple of flavored salts. SaltWorks, Inc encourages you to contact them if you can't find what you are looking for, but I think they carry most anything you could think of! For more varieties or to purchase these salts, check out their website at .  Best of all, they are a local company based in Washington State. I have always felt a strong need to support local businesses and farms. Thank you to SaltWorks, Inc for allowing me to review some of their salts! It was a true culinary pleasure! 

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