Any food fan will already know about gourmet salts and how the various crystals, colours and flavours are another level compared to the fine running table salt we keep on our counter tops.
The difficult decision is choosing between the different kinds of gourmet salt available and which will enhance our dish the most, whether meat, fish or vegetables.
Pink, grey or Balinese? Here’s a look at some of the world’s most particular gourmet salts you could have on chargrilled fiorentina, fresh grilled fish or roast root vegetables, as well as some you perhaps hadn't heard of.
This pure salt is collected by hand from the mountains of the Punjab region of Pakistan and contains 84 different and natually occuring elements, minerals and metals. Known for its curative properties, the rose coloured salt is commonly used in spas or beauty centres in body care treatments and is also prized for its health benefits. On top of that it’s also ideal for all kinds of dishes, from use as a cooking salt, including baking fish inside a crust of salt, to adding final seasoning to a dish.
The distincitve coloured salt comes from the minerals absorbed from a particular type of clay usually found in the Brittany region of France. Its subtle, salty aftertaste that makes it popular with chefs and ideal for fish and meat dishes, or simply sprinkled over nuts or popcorn.
3. Hawaiian Pink Salt
With its particular shade coming from clay, this salt is ideal for roasted meats or grilled fish with its mellow and earthy notes. It’s perfect for being ground or crushed along with aromatic herbs.
4. Black Hawaiian Hiwa Kai Sea Salt
Containing vegetable carbon, this salt has an effective depurative action in the digestive system. It’s perfect with fish and used often in haute cuisine for its decorative effect. There’s also a green Hawaiian salt, mixed with bamboo leaves, suitable for giving dishes a spicy aroma.
An integral sea salt from the Yakima region, in the state of Washington, famous for its apple orchards, whose wood is used to smoke the salt. Perfect for all kinds of grilling, especially pork and white meat. There are many kinds of smoked salt, with different aromas.
6. Maldon Salt
The English salt that forms in flakes, much beloved by chefs – perfect for giving a dish a special touch: being a crystal, it slowly melts in your mouth and using it in cooking ensures contrasting effects. It works very well with soft consistencies and is particularly wonderful on chocolate.
7. Balinese Salt
A flaked salt with an unusual pyramid shape that makes it totally unique in the world of salt. It comes from the Indian Ocean around the Indonesian island of Bali and is perfect for giving food both a savoury flavour as well as a nice touch of crunch.
Dal is one of those recipes that goes all the way back to the Indus Valley Civilisation. Unlike dishes such as biryani, brought to India by the Moghuls, it is one of those foods that has always been there. It is therefore a building block of Indian culture.