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Five Kinds of Salt and How to Use Them

There's a salt for that.

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PHOTOGRAPHY by
Olivia Hayo
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Salt comes in a variety of textures and flavors depending on evaporation method, place of origin, and additives. Here's a look at the most notable types of salt and recommended uses:

Table Salt
Often called granular salt, this variety comes from salt mines and is the most common. The granules have a uniform and distinct cubic shape that's small and dense, making it super salty. It’s processed to remove impurities, and anti-caking agents are added to prevent clumping. Iodine is also often added, which can impart a slight metallic taste. This is a fine and cheap option for everyday cooking, but we suggest you leave it on the table.

Kosher Salt
Named for its use in koshering, the Jewish tradition of quickly removing blood from meat, this salt is pure and contains no additives. Kosher salt is inarguably the favorite cooking salt among chefs because of its clean taste and coarse, craggy crystals, which makes it easy to pick up, sprinkle, and adhere to foods. It is inexpensive, forgiving, and ideal for everyday cooking. Use it in your spice rub, to season pasta water, or to roast vegetables.

Flaked Sea Salt
Light with a delightful crunch, flaked sea salts universally spark joy. The flakes occur naturally as seawater evaporates, making these salts labor-intensive to harvest and pricier than table or kosher salt. Fleur de sel, Maldon, and the like are truly special—basically the caviar of salts—because they cost a pretty penny. Sprinkle sparingly as finishing salt to add texture and a burst of flavor as a garnish on toast, salad, and on top of warm chocolate chip cookies.

Colored Sea Salt
Pink Himalayan salt, Hawaiian black lava salt, and sel gris (gray salt) are a few of the colorful salts that pick up unique hues and distinct flavors from minerals found in the seas where they are harvested. These salts are special, pricey, and should be used as finishing salts. The pop of color enhances presentation, so look for ways to add some drama .

Infused Salt
Salt that has been infused with herbs, spices, etc. You can buy them premade or make your own (maybe by salt roasting!?). Salt Farm, a local maker of infused salts, shows us that the possibilities are endless… smoked salt, garlic salt, wasabi-sesame salt, even truffle salt. Use the flavor profiles of infused salts to boost the flavors already occurring in dishes, like smoked salt for grilled meats and zingy lemon salt for crispy-skinned fish or roast chicken.

ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS
Haley Hazell
As a freelance food stylist, visual designer and recipe developer, for Haley it is all about balance –– balancing careers, tastes and textures...
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