The Salt Store
As any chef will tell you, salt is the single most essential ingredient in the kitchen. Be the dish sweet or savoury, salt brings out the flavours in almost everything – from meat, veggies & sauces to chocolate, pastries and baked goods!
For thousands of years, salt has been a precious commodity and was even used as a form of currency. Often hard to come by, Moorish merchants way back in the 6th century were known to trade salt for gold in equal weights!
Salt was used throughout history as a way to preserve food before refrigeration, it actually even contributed to the development of civilisation ... bet you never thought about that when sprinkling some seemingly insignificant salt over your dinner!
So where does this prized, essential for life mineral come from? Well, firstly it’s important to know that there’s sea salt or rock salt (also known as halite). Sea salt is produced when ocean water or salt water lakes evaporate, whereas rock salt comes from already formed underground salt deposits. Himalayan salt, Kosher salt and even table salt are all forms of rock salt.
The beautiful crystal flakes, once reserved for top chefs in high end restaurants, now commonly found in home kitchens are sea salt – the most famous is Fleur de Sel from France and the most expensive being Korean Bamboo salt. Australia produces some wonderful sea salts in South & Western Australia.
The latest must have kitchen ingredient is artisan flavoured salts – they’re such a simple way to add fast flavour and, really, who doesn’t want some of that?! Think Smokey Southern Blend, Umami Salt, Bloody Mary Salt, Citrus & Fennel and even Red Wine or Beer Salt, so get creative with these quick & easy flavour sensations!
With all the varieties of salt on the table (get it!), always think about what you’re using it for and buy the salt that suits your needs. The best advice we’ve been given about salt is ‘you can always add more, but you can’t take it out’ so sprinkle slowly because a little can go a long way!