The Rise of Designer Salts
Since when did salt become so diverse?
Long gone are the days of simple table salt that you might find at your grandma’s house, instead it comes in a variety of colours (just like our Salt-Water Sandals) and textures.
But why is salt on the rise when we’ve been told to stay off it for health reasons?
Salt has always been attractive. Many people’s fortunes have been built on it, the Romans used it as currency (hence where the word ‘salary’ came from) and of course it tastes so good when added to food.
So what makes these ‘designer’ salts so different?
Himalayan salt was created around 250 million years ago from the evaporation of the primal sea by the suns energy around the Himalayan Mountains in Asia. Many believe that it is the purest form of salt on the earth, containing all the minerals and trace elements essential to human life.
While table salt is becoming increasingly processed, the pink Himalayan salt is said to bring health benefits like lowering blood pressure, improving circulation and strengthening bones.
A great way of incorporating pink Himalayan salt into your cooking (especially in the countdown to Christmas) is to make your own cranberry sauce! All you need to do is add washed cranberries, star anise, coconut oil, palm sugar, rose water, cranberry juice and your pink Himalayan salt to a saucepan. Cook on a medium heat, bring to a simmer and then serve up how you like – pretty easy! You’ll be getting all those extra nutrients that you don’t get from regular salt.
Grey salt is a new favourite within the culinary world. It is harvested by hand using traditional Celtic methods and wooden tools, from shallow ponds of seawater in Guerande, a coastal town in Brittany. Its light grey colour comes from the minerals absorbed from the clay lining at the bottom of the salt ponds, which are enriched with elements such as magnesium.
We recommend adding a little Guerande salt to oven-roasted potatoes for extra flavour. The French love it so we’re pretty sure it’s going our new go-to dish. Bon appetite!
From the tropical paradise Hawaii comes black lava salt. It is a blend of sea salt and purified volcanic charcoal that gives an earthy flavour when cooked with. But not all ‘black’ salts are actually black in colour. Indian black salt starts off as pink and then is heated to an extremely high temperature. It’s then mixed with spices and herbs including the seed of the harad fruit, which contains sulphur. The only problem is that it can give off the smell of hard-boiled eggs (who wants that) but does disappear once you start cooking. According to centuries of tradition, black salt is said to be ‘cooling’ salt that is filled with therapeutic benefits. It also helps with digestive problems and unlike common salt; it does not enhance your sodium intake. So make sure to add a pinch the next time you roast vegetables, bake bread or even take a bath!
A good way to keep your new ‘designer’ salts from clumping in humid kitchens is to invest in a Salt Pig. They became popular in the early 19th century and were used for a variety of ingredients like herbs, spices and salt. Most people believe that the name ‘salt pig’ comes from the wide opening on the pot (which may resemble a pig snout) but instead it comes from an old Scottish dialect revealing that ‘pig’ was a common word for earthenware pots and jars. Recently, they have regained their popularity in modern day kitchens with celebrity chefs like Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson using them on their T.V shows.
Now that you know ALL about our favourite salts, it’s time to get cookin’!