I’m also rather intrigued by the numerous varieties of salt available and have an extensive “collection” which is not as complete as I would wish but I can’t buy them all!
Contrary yet again, to what some people believe, different salts, sourced from differing regions, do taste different. There is a subtle difference between some types but distinct difference between others.
Then there are the “flavored” salts, such as smoked salts and the sea salts that are gathered without refinement, still containing the minerals found normally in the seawater in their source locations.
Even mined salts can vary. Some salt mines contain very pure NACL while others include other minerals laid down millions and millions of years ago in shallow seas and now mined as “Jurassic” salt.
I don’t know of any spice that isn’t enhanced by a little salt.
My favorite supplier of “interesting and different” salts is:
Not only do they carry a long list of specialty salts from all over the world, they also have some salt blends that are unique, and very, very tasty. The Didi Davis collections are an excellent way of purchasing a small amount of several different blends or specialty salts so you can try them to see which you like without spending a lot of $$$.
The Food Salt Blend Collection includes these 10 blends:
“Fennel Thyme Salt, Porcini Salt, Sagemary Salt, Caraway Salt, Vanilla Salt, Sumac Pepper Salt, Aleppo Chile Salt, and Smoked Spicy Paprika Salt. Each blend is crafted by hand and made with a moist, crunchy sea salt.”
They also carry some sugar blends that are, in a word, incredible. I love the Curry sugar blend and have sent some to my daughter, who also loves it.
The Espresso sugar and Lemon sugar blends are wonderful sprinkled on top of an egg custard with no need to caramelize them to develop flavor – it’s already there!
They do carry several varieties of pepper and I have purchased a couple that are not available from other vendors: (Australian Mountain Pepper (Tasmanian Pepperberry) and Long Pepper) and have found these to be very interesting peppers (See a mention of the Australian Mountain Pepper above. I used it on a strawberrypeach tart.) The long pepper is tricky to grind – I have found an unusual method. I use a (new) pet toenail clipper to cut the long pepper into pieces that will fit in one of my pepper grinders. This works a treat.
Salt Traders also has salt plates, blocks and tiles. They can be used for serving but also can be used for “cooking” in that they can be preheated in an oven and then thin pieces of quick-cooking foods placed on them will sear. It’s an interesting way of presenting some foods.
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And speaking of SALT !!
Salts currently on hand:
I purchased most of these but several were gifts from friends who learned I was “collecting” quite a few years ago and so it goes…
Some are not “pure” salts but salts mixed with herbs and spices. Those are indicated with a *.
Australian Murray River Pink Salt Flakes
Bay of Fundy Sea Salt
Balinese Sea Salt
Bamboo Sea Salt
Belgium sea salt. (also a moist one)
Black Cyprus Sea Salt Flakes
*Black Salt – India These “black” salts are actually pink. They have a strong, sulphur aroma.
*Black Salt – Saudia Arabia
Danish Viking Smoked Sea Salt
Diamond Crystal kosher
*Didi Davis Food Salt Blend Collection
(Fennel Thyme Salt, Porcini Salt, Sagemary Salt, Caraway Salt, Vanilla Salt, Sumac Pepper Salt, Aleppo Chile Salt, and Smoked Spicy Paprika Salt)
I have several sea salts produced in France.
Baleine Fine and Coarse
Fleur de Sel de Guerande
French grey sea salt, Ile de Ré
French Camarque sea salt
Velvet de Guerande certified organic Sea Salt – flour-like texture
Greece, Sea Salt (Elati)
Guava Wood Smoked Sea Salt
Hawaiian Aalea Red Sea Salt
Himalayan Pink Salt
Italy – Cervia Salt – Casina Rossi Limited Edition Salt
Grigio di Cervia – Gray Sea Salt
Ravida Sea Salt – Coarse
Maine Sea Salt
Madagascar Natur Fleur de Sel
*Sale marino del Madagascar con vaniglia Bourbon This was a gift and I can’t read the label.
Maldon Sea Salt
Mexican Benequenes de Chiapas Salt
Nazuna Sea Salt from Japan
New Zealand coarse
New Zealand fine
New Zealand Marlborough Medium Flaky
*Pepper & Pearls
Peruvian Pink Salt
Real salt – mined in Redmond, Utah, fine and coarse
also sold under the “Jurassic Salt” label
Red Hawaiian Sea Salt
White Hawaiian sea salt flakes
Sicilian Sea Salt Ittica d’or – Coarse
Wales – Halen Mon Sea Salt
White Cyprus Sea Salt Flakes