Some people are wine snobs. Excuse me … connoisseurs. Others are chocolate snobs, or coffee snobs, or beer snobs. (I’ve heard some of them won’t even say they like beer — they like micro-brews.)
But did you know that you can be a salt snob? I’ve heard stories of people who bring their own salt to restaurants. I know that fleur de sel is the salt that chefs prefer. I’ve heard of pink Hawaiian salt and a few others. But boy, that’s just scratching the surface.
The fine folks at The Meadow — the same people who sent me the Himalayan salt block — sent me their finishing salt starter pack. Now think about that name, “finishing salt starter pack”. That means that there’s more than one kind of salt. And that in the “finishing salt” category, there are enough of them that they sell a starter pack.
Or instead of working it out for yourself, you can just take a look at the twelve different categories of salt they carry.
The starter set is one of their more popular items, including:
- The Meadow Sel Gris
- Fleur de Sel de Guerande
- Maldon Flake Sea Salt
- Kauai Guava Smoked Salt
- Black Diamond Pyramid Salt
- Molokai Red Sea Salt
The first three — the white salts — are great general-purpose finishing salts. They have different crystal size and shape so you not only get mildly different flavors from each, you can get a whole different texture. I went with the Maldon for my first sample. It’s got a very large flaky structure.
You can just sprinkle it on, but the users guide that came with the set suggested grinding it between your fingers as you apply it to finished foods.
You can see the large flakes as they slowly dissolve into the London broil I used it on.
I cooked this with no salt, which violates one of my (usually) firm rules: Always salt before cooking. This brings out the flavor of the food you’re cooking. If you want until after, you get bland food that tastes salty.
This was a surprise. You could definitely taste the saltiness, but it also brought out the flavor of the meat more than I’ve experienced with ordinary kosher salt. I’m really looking forward to trying the others.
Well, most of the others. Salt usually doesn’t have any smell. But the Kauai Guava Smoked Salt has aÂ — what’s the connoisseur term for it? — an adventurous aroma. Pungent. Bold. Assertive. I think this one will be best in small doses. I’ll keep you updated as I try the rest of them.