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Salt is one of the world’s most important ingredients. Whether you’re using it to season a grilled steak, spruce up a salad, or add a little kick to your next margarita, great salt makes everything taste better.

Salt comes in two different types: Big salt, which is what’s sold in supermarkets and in most home pantries, and artisan salt. The former is refined to remove minerals like iodine, whereas the latter is naturally mineral-rich and can contain trace elements, such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium, that can have health benefits.

Artisan salt is generally more expensive than its big-salt counterpart. It’s often smoked, blended with other ingredients to enhance its flavor, or hand-harvested from the sea. It’s also more likely to be kosher, Bitterman said.

Fine Sea Salt is sourced from ocean water and expresses a pure salty flavor with a fine grain slightly larger than table salt. It’s been crafted in the Aigues-Mortes saltworks in Camargue, France since 1856 to deliver clean, straightforward flavor.

Fleur de sel, also known as “flower of salt” (fleur is French for flower), hails from the Guerande region of France and is scraped by hand as it forms on the surface of salt evaporation ponds. The irregular, delicate crystals have a moist, mineral-rich texture and are ideal as a finishing salt for any dish.

Flake Sea Salt is produced when seawater evaporates in a natural process that produces large pyramid-shaped flakes. It dissolves more quickly than some other salt types, making it ideal for finishing meats, blending with herbs and spices, or adding to baked goods for dynamic pops of flavor.

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