With a Grain of Salt

Chefs treat gourmet salts like a great accessory—a finishing sprinkle can heighten flavors and add a visual touch to any creation. But the vibrant colors, textures, and tastes of these domestic and international salts are also available to home chefs. Take cues from kitchen professionals and use them after, not during, cooking. Try a dash on vegetables, proteins, and even fruit before serving. And don’t hide them behind closed doors. Minerals this pretty deserve fancy containers and countertop real estate.

Chefs treat gourmet salts like a great accessory—a finishing sprinkle can heighten flavors and add a visual touch to any creation. But the vibrant colors, textures, and tastes of these domestic and international salts are also available to home chefs. Take cues from kitchen professionals and use them after, not during, cooking. Try a dash on vegetables, proteins, and even fruit before serving. And don’t hide them behind closed doors. Minerals this pretty deserve fancy containers and countertop real estate.

1. Pink Himalayan salt The pink tone comes from the minerals found in this mountainous region. Use this large-crystal salt on simply prepared beef and chicken, or to make sweet fruit flavors pop.  $18, 20.5 oz., Williams-Sonoma, 6401 Morrison Boulevard, 704-364-8886. 2., 3., 5. Flavored Salts Maker Casina Rossa mixes coarse sea salts with such exotic things as dried fruit, vanilla beans, truffle shavings, and saffron to balance and add flavor to plainer eats like eggs and potato chips.  $14.99-$17.99, 3.5 oz., Reid’s Fine Foods, 225 East 6th Street, 704-377-1312.  4. Sicilian Sea salt The Italian island’s salty offering is both high quality and affordable. Look for the brand Antica Salina in both coarse and fine varieties to add to delicate dishes such as shrimp.  $3.29, 26 oz. (coarse), $3.99, 26 oz. (fine), Pasta & Provisions, 1 528 Providence Road, 704-364-2622. 6. Celtic Grey salt Collected by the Celtic method of wooden rakes, this salt is actually found in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of France. It’s perfect for sprucing up the bright pink slices of cooked meats. $6, 2.3 oz., Cooking Uptown, 1707 East 7th Street, 704-333-7300. 7. Hawaiian salt These islands give mainlanders one great offering. Black Hawaiian salt gets its dramatic color from lava beds. It stands up to robust meats and begs to be sprinkled on light-colored foods.  $26, 9 oz., Dean & Deluca, 6903 Phillips Place Court, 704-643-6868.

Categories: Dwell, Food & Entertaining