Abigail Cahill O'Brien

Holiday Gift For: The Salt Fiend

In Food on December 17, 2009 at 4:07 pm

Danish Viking Smoked Sea Salt, $15 for 1.5 oz at Salt Trader's

If you’re buying for a salt fiend this holiday season, this post’s for you. Here are my favorites from two knock-out sources, Salt Traders and The Meadow.  Besides offering hundred of salts, both purveyors maintain handy blogs for the salt-addled brain: The Salty Dog’s Blog and Salt News respectively.

Danish Viking Smoked Salt, available at Salt Trader’s, is a salt like no other: smoky, meaty and fearless. My sister-in-law Nancy, who dances on the cutting edge of all things culinary and tries valiantly to keep the rest of us au courant – tipped me off to it. (Thank you, Nance!) Danish Viking Smoked salt is not for the faint of flavor. According to Salt Trader’s, it is ‘produced by first evaporating seawater, then using a “fizzing” (evaporating) process, which takes place in a vessel over an open, smoky fire containing juniper, cherry, elm, beech and oak.’ The end result is a pungent bonfire-charred bacon flavor capable of transforming a plate of steamed broccoli or roasted Brussels sprouts into a satisfying meal.

Marobishi Plum Salt, $12 for 1.2 oz at The Meadow

The Meadow’s Maboroshi Plum Salt is concentrated from Japanese plum vinegar, and takes all its striking plum-pink color naturally from the plum. It is 100% additive-free.  Use it with broiled white fish dishes, sushi, and soft boiled eggs.

Black Truffle Salt, $14 for 1.2 oz at The Meadow

Truffle got a bad rap the past couple years, thanks to rampant over-use in restaurants.  While no one wants truffle oil drizzled on their salad these days, a pinch of this truffled salt over soft-scrambled eggs is the difference between ordinary and sublime.  It’s a cost-effective way to keep the truffle flavor handy in your pantry.

Saffron Sea Salt, $13.75 for 1.2 oz at The Meadow

Look at the gorgeous marigold color of this saffron salt!  Try it anywhere you’d use saffron: on fish, rice, sauces, maybe a pinch in your Bloody Mary.  I like dusting it on caramelized scallops.

Didi Davis' Food Salt Blend Collection, $20 at Salt Trader's

Salt Trader’s also carries Didi Davis’ tower of blended salts, the perfect entrée into finishing salts.  I’ve found the porcini adds amazing depth to chicken soup, and the sagemary brightens just about any wintry dish.

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