If you think of salt as just the white, granular combination of two simple elements — sodium and chloride — you're mistaken! Salts from around the world are unique in color and flavor and texture: there are pink salts, black salts, smoked salts, flaked salts. Some come from the sea, but most are mined and come from large deposits left by dried salt lakes throughout the world.
If there is an ingredient that's essential to good health and good taste, it's salt. In modest amounts, it is necessary for the proper functioning of cells. Practically any food — from homemade pasta sauce to chocolate chip cookies — benefits from a teaspoon or a pinch of salt.
Salts at PCC
Sea salt is derived from evaporated sea water, and you'll find a wide variety at PCC. In our bulk departments, we've got coarse and fine-grain sea salts harvested from the Northwest of France and from New Zealand. We also carry several other sea salts, including EDEN, from the environmentally protected salt marshes of southern Portugal at the mouth of the Mediterranean Sea. Sea salts at PCC are natural, with no additives or chemicals.
An additive-free coarse-grained salt traditionally used by some Jews in the preparation of meat, it also is used by cooks who prefer its texture and flavor.
Harvested from the bottom of salt bays, the color of grey salt comes from the high clay content in the earth. PCC's grey salt, from Esprit du Sel, is not treated or washed. It has a very high mineral content and its large crystals have a strong aroma and taste. Available at Fremont, Issaquah, Kirkland and Redmond.
Fl'eur du sel
Produced in the Ile de Ré area of France, the fl'eur du sel is considered the most prized French sea salt. It is hand-harvested by collecting the salt from the surface of the water in salt pans as the white blooms appear on the water's surface within the private Esprit du Sel bays.
Its light texture makes it perfect on fine grilled meat and fish or sprinkled over caramel as a striking contrast to sweet! The fl'eur du sel at PCC, from the company Esprit du Sel, has been recognized for its outstanding taste by the French National Council for the Culinary Arts. Available at Edmonds, Fremont, Issaquah and Redmond.
Salts with pinkish or reddish hues get their color from a range of natural minerals. PCC carries Redmond Real Salt, an unrefined sea salt harvested from an ancient ocean where Redmond, Utah now stands. Himalasalt is another brand of pink salt sold at PCC. It’s also unrefined and is hand-harvested from an ancient salt deposit in the Himalayas.
All-natural sea salts mixed with onion, garlic, or herbs, add flavor and spice to your savory recipes.
Use your hands
Keep a small bowl of salt on your counter and at the table, and use your hands to sprinkle it on food. You'll have more control so you avoid over-salting.
Season solid foods (fish, chicken, meats) before cooking, to intensify their flavor. Generously season thick cuts of meat, such as steak, because the seasoning is only on the outside and has to be intense enough to compensate for the unseasoned inside. Be even more generous when seasoning large roasts, such as prime rib or a whole chicken.
A half teaspoon of salt per pound of seafood, and one teaspoon per pound of chicken, beef, pork, and lamb is standard, but use more or less depending on your taste and the recipe.
Season liquid foods (soups, sauces, even risotto) after cooking, because once the liquid evaporates, you may find the dish to be saltier than you'd like.
Season leafy vegetables, such as spinach and Swiss chard, after cooking since they are mostly made of water, which evaporates during cooking.
Sprinkle salt over the greens instead of adding it to the dressing! You'll have more control over the flavor that way.
— Adapted from culinate.com