This is your source for information on premium, unrefined, gourmet salt. Here you will find an ever-changing smorgasbord of entries by
our staff and guest authors about their experiences and love for gourmet salt, references to salt in the news and on the web, and salt application and tasting ideas.
Posts Tagged ‘salt’
Posted April 23rd, 2011 by Chris
Filed under: news, salt, show
We are pleased to take part this year in the Michigan International Women’s Show from April 28- May 1, 2011 at the Rock Financial Showplace in Novi, Michigan (46100 Grand River Avenue 48374). For more information check out this link – and feel free to come on down to say hi to us in booth 630. The show runs from 10am-7pm on Thursday, 10am-9pm on Friday, 10am-7pm on Saturday and 10am-5pm on Sunday. Based on the fun we had last year, there is no doubt it will be even a better time for us in in 2011! See you there!
Posted August 9th, 2010 by Chris
Filed under: blog, fun, salt
Like a cultural anthropologist, it is possible to derive the importance of an item to a particular society simply by reflecting on how that item is referenced in literature. Use of analogy allows the reader to gain a feel for what such item means to the greater group, as some common point of understanding must exist for the connection to take hold and have meaning.
And so there is a link that allows the analogy to be understood. We get it when someone says “his entrance into the room was like a breath of fresh air” because there is a culturally common value to what a “breath of fresh air” means. Similarly, it is not clear what is indicated by “his entrance into the room was like a sprinkle of unrefined salt.” Sure, we could use those freshman college english skills and try to extrapolate an explanation, but even for someone that sees great depth in salt, finding a logical relationship in this case is a stretch. Perhaps that is why the literary quotes we enjoy the most are the ones that play on the line where the association is not initially obvious. However as soon as we connect the concepts, it becomes a eureka moment where we say, ‘of course!’
Anyway, we have assembled the following quotes related to salt that you may or may not have read before. Periodically we will try to update this list, and so feel free to send us any of your favorites that we may have missed!
The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.
Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all.
Don’t buy the salt if you have not licked it yet.
Nobody likes having salt rubbed into their wounds, even if it is the salt of the earth.
Salt is the only rock directly consumed by man. It corrodes but preserves, desiccates but is wrested from the water. It has fascinated man for thousands of years not only as a substance he prized and was willing to labour to obtain, but also as a generator of poetic and of mythic meaning. The contradictions it embodies only intensify its power and its links with experience of the sacred.
Wit is the salt of conversation, not the food.
Salt water and absence wash away love.
At sea a fellow comes out. Salt water is like wine, in that respect.
Give neither counsel nor salt till you are asked for it.
A man must eat a peck of salt with his friend before he knows him.
Miguel de Cervantes
Kissing is like drinking salted water: you drink and your thirst increases.
Where would we be without salt?
Rebuke should have a grain more of salt than of sugar.
Trust no one unless you have eaten much salt with him.
Salt is what makes things taste bad when it isn’t in them.
Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea.
Of all smells, bread; of all tastes, salt.
Bread and salt never quarrel.
When the father has eaten too much salt in his lifetime, then his son thereafter will have a great thirst.
No man is worth his salt who is not ready at all times to risk his well-being, to risk his body, to risk his life, in a great cause.
If there are two cooks in one house the soup is either too salty or too cold.
Bread that this house may never know hunger, salt that life may always have flavor.
It’s a Wonderful Life
Three things are good in small doses and bad in big ones: yeast, salt, and hesitation.
A wise woman puts a grain of sugar into everything she says to a man, and takes a grain of salt with everything he says to her.
You cannot pick up salt with dry fingers.
Posted August 3rd, 2010 by Chris
Filed under: news, salt, television
Iron Chef is the wildly popular show on the Food Network, and I doubt it needs any introduction to those reading this blog. I remember first watching the Japanese version with English language dubbing in the 90′s. Over the course of two decades of cable television re-runs, I think I probably saw every episode ever aired in the US. If you have never seen the Japanese version, you owe it to yourself since it is classically hilarious – check out this YouTube clip of one of the episodes.
In January 2005, the Food Network starting airing a revamp of Iron Chef with Alton Brown as color commentator (get it?!) titled appropriately “Iron Chef America”. My DVR knows the show well as it is a staple of the Sunday night television ritual. I think my favorite concept of the Japanese version, and now the US show, is the secret ingredient. This ingredient, for which the show revolves, is dramatically unveiled from a smoke filled, culinary-altar in the opening of each episode, and can range from Chestnuts to Skirt Steak.
As an example of how the Internet and the information gathering prowess of its users never ceases to amaze, here is a wonderful compiled list of all of the ingredients ever to appear on the Iron Chef shows (both Japanese and US version). Notice something missing? Seriously, where is salt? I mean, even Snail has been on the show twice. Eggplant, three times. Heck, even “Dry Ligament” got to bask in the Iron Chef secret ingredient sun (yes, that was on the Japanese version, but still)!
Hey, we are ingredients too!
I know what you are thinking – salt ain’t an ingredient. Well first, I would say (to your face) you are very misguided and should seek culinary help immediately. Certainly salt is an ingredient. Perhaps even the most important ingredient. I refuse to be cliche by pulling out the dictionary definition of ingredient, but certainly it is as much of an ingredient in cooking as sugar, honey or chocolate. Just because it is part of most of the foods we prepare, does not make it any less critical to the final outcome that lands on our plate. And look at the list of previous ingredients that have been featured on Iron Chef – sugar, honey and chocolate have all been secret ingredients in the past along with milk, ginger and curry powder. Curry powder! Certainly salt is as much of an ingredient as curry powder!
For further precedent in making salt a Secret Ingredient on Iron Chef America, Alton Brown even did a special Good Eats episode that focused entirely on the magical mineral. And better yet, just think of all the amazing things chef’s could do with salt as a Secret Ingredient – brines, pickling, salt bakes, and even ice cream. Plus, I can imagine the Secret Ingredient altar on Iron Chef being filled with unrefined sea salts and blends from around the world – pushing the chef’s to really use this ingredient in creative ways based on its distinctive qualities.
My final argument for why salt is the perfect candidate as a Secret Ingredient on Iron Chef America is that salt itself is big news right now. We have written about it several times, but all the media attention proves how timely a “Battle Salt” would be – especially since lowering sodium intake is so linked to preparing foods ourselves which is a hallmark message of the Food Network.
Come Iron Chef! Nothing against curry powder, but doesn’t salt deserve the chance to be a Secret Ingredient? We certainly think so!
Posted August 2nd, 2010 by Chris
Filed under: cook book, cooking, reviews, salt
I just finished reading The Elements of Cooking by Michael Ruhlman (here is the Amazon Link and heck it is on the Kindle too), and without a doubt would highly recommend the book to everyone/anyone that even has a passing interest in food.
If you watch the Travel Channel, Bravo or Food Network, you probably have seen Ruhlman before on several television programs. I have always enjoyed Ruhlman’s commentary and input on the various shows which he has appeared, and so I was intrigued to read the heavily praised Elements of Cooking. Although I had purchased the book almost a year ago (it actually came out in 2007), I just finally got around to reading it.
First, note that this is not a book that you probably will read cover-to-cover in the conventional sense since really it is more of an alphabetic dictionary of food concepts (thus the very accurate title of the book). I found myself picking it up periodically to either read the very intriguing notes section or to search for culinary elements themselves. In this way, the book becomes a very handy resource in the kitchen.
Second, you have to love a book (and writer) that so heavily believes in the value of salt in cooking. I found Ruhlman’s comments on use of salt and general seasoning techniques to be spot on. Ruhlman writes, “It is true not just for cooks in professional kitchens, but for all cooks in all kitchens, everywhere: learning to salt food properly is the most important skill you can possess.” Ah-men brother. The notes section of the book includes descriptions of many techniques that are salt specific including how to brine and suggestions on preserving with salt.
Finally, I found Ruhlman’s writing style to be captivating as the reader clearly can sense his true passion for the subject matter of the book. Ruhlman’s writing felt more like a conversation, as if we were hanging out in a bar chatting over pretzels and beer. And the depth of knowledge transmitted through the book’s 200+ pages is staggering- it would be hard to walk away from this experience without a heightened understanding of the culinary world even if you had never stepped foot in a kitchen.
Bottom line, get this book. It is a wonderful resource and delightful read.
Posted July 31st, 2010 by Chris
Filed under: health, news, salt
The perfect size for home use to lower sodium intake!
I happen to have the good fortune to work closely with folks in the food industry in the US. While walking through the office my eye happened upon a copy of “Food Technology” magazine from May 2010 with a large photo on the front of flaked salt and the caption title “REDUCING SODIUM.” Of course I quickly leafed through the first couple pages of this publication and within moments learned of the New York City group, the National Salt Reduction Initiative. We have discussed this group (at least tangentially) before, and of course our position is that this movement should focus its efforts on the salt in processed foods, rather than salt intake generally.
WELL, right in the first couple paragraphs of my new favorite magazine, I came across a statistic that I had not seen before – only 11% of sodium in Americans’ diets comes from their own addition to food. On the other hand, a whopping 80% is added to foods before they are even sold to consumers! Based on this information, it is not difficult to extrapolate there would be a significant reduction in Americans’ sodium intake if we just ate more meals prepared in the home kitchen. In this way we control the amount and type of salt added to our foods, thus reducing our overall sodium intake.
The “Food Technology” article points out that there is a movement in the packaged food industry to offer reduced sodium products (yeah, this is obvious). However, pre-packaged foods are just one piece of the sodium intake pie chart – just think of all those meals you eat at restaurants (yikes, look-out) and fast-food franchises (one of these will certainly put a dent in your daily sodium diet).
Preparing your own meals certainly is a way to know how much salt is in your food, and so let our naturally unrefined sea salts and blends entice you to venture into your home kitchen and reduce your sodium intake at the same time…
Posted June 25th, 2009 by Chris
Filed under: blog, jars, salt, Windy City Celery
Chris (one of our founders) and our Salt Chef, Eric Nittolo
We made it. 2+ years, a crazy amount of hours/days/weeks/months from everyone that believed in ‘salt,’ 5am day after day, lost weekends, cancelled dinners, lots of 7 & 7, and here we are. A condo filled with samples, printers, jars, labels, and of course, salt. Now it is real. We are live, and even got our first order (internally we had some bets going on which salt would be in the initial order, and not to toot my horn, but I won…Windy-City Celery!). Thanks to everyone on the ‘back-end’ for the incredible work and dedication to this endeavor. Now it is time to show everyone else why we think it is time to move Beyond the Shaker….
Posted October 8th, 2008 by Amanda
Filed under: bland, food, salt, smoked, vegetarian
My mom, a marvelous Italian woman, used to tell me that people who are vegetarians are vegetarians because they simply don’t enjoy food. She couldn’t understand why anyone would want to deny themselves the glorious sensation of eating a perfectly-rolled meatball or a juicy, grilled chicken breast.
In fact, she swore that she never met an Italian who was a vegetarian. That is, until I proclaimed that I was a vegetarian.
Now, I like food. A lot. So you can imagine her shock when I, her Italian daughter with a healthy appetite, made my declaration of vegetarianism.
“But—vegetarian food is so—bland!” she stammered.
“Well,” I replied, “not if it’s seasoned properly.”
The truth is that bland food is bland because it’s not seasoned properly—not because it does or does not contain meat.
And I just so happened to learn early on in my vegetarianism (a gift bestowed upon me by my elder vegetarian guides) the unending benefits of smoked salt.
Yes, smoked salt. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Well, it is crazy—but in the best kind of way.
Smoked salt is just that—salt that has been smoked over various types of burning wood to infuse this magical, mystical smokey flavor into the salt granules. And let me tell you, it kicks, punches, and explodes in your mouth. This salt is not for the weak-kneed. Check out the different varieties Beyond the Shaker has in the Beyond Blend series.
I use smoked salt whenever I want my food to have that hot-off-the-barbecue, sizzling-on-the-grill kind of taste. I sprinkle it on veggie hot dogs, veggie burgers, and add a few dashes to my tempeh. It gives a really rich, complex, savory taste to all types of food and it satisfies my secret, inner carnivore.
Food with a dash of smoked salt is far from bland. In fact, since confessing this to my mom, I noticed she keeps a jar of smoked salt stowed away behind her parsley and oregano to sneak a dash or two on her chicken breast.
It just goes to show that even Italian mothers aren’t immune to the magic of smoked salt.