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Specialty Salts


silentbob
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Slightly tangential question:

Multiple friends (without coordinating beforehand) have gotten me finishing salts as gifts this year. At this moment, I own a starter set from The Meadow, some Himalayan pink salt, and some Maldon sea salt.

My plan is to utilize each of these salts at a dinner party, but I have absolutely no clue how to do so. What kind of course (amuse, starter, or otherwise) and food is the best method of "showing them off" in a way that allows the guests to appreciate these salts the most? Assume that these guests are moderately foodie-ish.

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Slightly tangential question:

Multiple friends (without coordinating beforehand) have gotten me finishing salts as gifts this year. At this moment, I own a starter set from The Meadow, some Himalayan pink salt, and some Maldon sea salt.

My plan is to utilize each of these salts at a dinner party, but I have absolutely no clue how to do so. What kind of course (amuse, starter, or otherwise) and food is the best method of "showing them off" in a way that allows the guests to appreciate these salts the most? Assume that these guests are moderately foodie-ish.

I've only had salt tastings twice: once at the DR event at Vidalia (with the Wagyu beef) and once at TFL (with the Foie Gras). Both were excellent at showing off the salts. Butters finished with the various salts might be a good way too.

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I see that The Meadow has changed the assortment that comprises their starter set, too...I have a set from a year or two ago. To show these off well, I think it's important to let your guests apply the salts themselves, because texture (flake, coarseness, moisture) is a huge part of each salt's identity. Baguettes and butter, per Zora upthread, would work well if you can find a minimally-salted baguette that's still worth eating; I'd be tempted to set out unadorned slices of campari tomatoes, even though it's no longer summertime.

Just noticed that their proprietor had posted here on DR once before. How cool is that?

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Does anyone know where I can get Fleur de Sel locally? Hopefully Northern Virginia? I know I've seen it somewhere, but don't remember where!

Penzeys sells it. I got mine at the Rockville store, but presumably the Falls Church store would have it as well.

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Does anyone know where I can get Fleur de Sel locally? Hopefully Northern Virginia? I know I've seen it somewhere, but don't remember where!

Arrowine, Whole Foods and Balducci's all sell Maldon, which is my favorite fleur de sel. It is English, not French, but as far as I am concerned it's the best.

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At the Eventide blowout dinner, one of the attendees and I were conspiring to organize a "specialty salt" event. Kind of an indulgent backlash to the recent NYC policy decision, but also a way to expand understanding for working with such minerals.

Darned if I can remember with whom I was conspiring, though. If we figure it out and get the planning on track, I'll post again later.

(hrm)

(salt & snow perhaps)

(too soon?)

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I checked Falls Curch Penzeys last Sunday and they didn't have it, we no longer have Balducci's anywhere near, but plenty of Whole Foods so I will check tomorrow. Thanks Zora, I trust your judgment so I will get that Mark I will check out those wine salts, they sound interesting! KMango, didn't we have a salt testing at one of the picnics a few years back? Or was it butter...or both? It all runs into each other after a while!

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Wegman's has Maldon, Williams-Sonoma has various French fleurs de sel. And isn't the Balducci's in Mclean still open?

I couldn't find the Maldon salt at Wegman's (Fairfax) last night. Do you know where it lives in the store? I tried the spices aisle and the Nature's Market baking area and ended up getting the pink Himalayan salt.

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Julia Child famously said she hated health food. I wonder what she would have made of Heidi Swanson? Me, I got over my skepticism long ago and turn to her site a lot when I am not sure what to do with finds at the market or bins in the bulk section.

Having purchased a gorgeous bunch of organic celery from New Morning Farm ($3 which is a bargain for one of those foods that is usually grown w lots of pesticides), I decided to try making her homemade celery salt, using residual heat from oven after roasting. I like the results.

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Having purchased a gorgeous bunch of organic celery from New Morning Farm ($3 which is a bargain for one of those foods that is usually grown w lots of pesticides), I decided to try making her homemade celery salt, using residual heat from oven after roasting. I like the results.

This is very different in concept from what celery salt is, typically, which is a mixture of salt and finely ground celery seed. Celery seed has a unique flavor which is completely different than celery stalks or celery leaf, or celery root, for that matter. When I am in full-out cooking mode, I use lots of celery leaves as a basic element in brines, stocks, soups, stews and other braises. The leaves have a much more intense celery flavor than the stalks, and I often search in vain in the supermarket to find a bunch of celery with enough leaves left on it. It's the stalks that wither and go to waste in my vegetable drawer, not the leaves. But I can't quite wrap my brain around substituting celery leaf flavor for celery seed in the applications where "celery salt" might be called for: potato salad, egg salad, tomato-based bbq sauce.

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This is very different in concept from what celery salt is, typically, which is a mixture of salt and finely ground celery seed. Celery seed has a unique flavor which is completely different than celery stalks or celery leaf, or celery root, for that matter.

Yes, Zora, I know and I imagine the blogger, the author of multiple cookbooks, knows that, too.

When I am in full-out cooking mode, I use lots of celery leaves as a basic element in brines, stocks, soups, stews and other braises.

I hear you. Me, too. Some cultures use celery leaves to stuff dumplings, pasta or savory pastries. Mario Batali uses celery leaves as an excuse to yell at journalists from The New Yorker who are writing a book about him and happen to throw them out when asked to chop the stalks.

But I can't quite wrap my brain around substituting celery leaf flavor for celery seed in the applications where "celery salt" might be called for: potato salad, egg salad, tomato-based bbq sauce.

Hey, it's just different and you might find different uses for it, if NOT for bbq sauce :mellow: . Me, I just wanted to try something new and so I did.

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Someone gifted us a pound of pink Hawaiian sea salt yesterday, and I started to put it away in the salt area of the cabinets.  I then took a moment to contemplate the fact that I have a salt "area" and started pulling things out.  Fleur de sel and sel gris from Guérande, flor de sal de Manzanillo, Baleine coarse, the box of Morton kosher, a container of Lawrey's seasoned salt (for popcorn), an apothecary bottle of rose-petal sea salt, and a tiny jar of fleur de sel with flakes of black truffle.  I'm pretty sure that, with the pink salt, I now have a lifetime supply.  Ideas beyond the basics are appreciated, particularly for the rose petal salt.

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