Friday, March 28, 2008

salt!

I typically seem to a have more a salty tooth than sweet. Torn between a fresh hot pretzel and a stick bun, I dare say I'd go for the salted pretzel. Wait, why did I come up with a situation that only happens at food courts? Okay, it could at a farmer's market.

Anyway, I often add a little extra salt-factor to my food, with a sprinkle of salty 'parmesan', tamari, braggs, sea salt and so on. Generic soy sauce if need be when out, trying not to think about how NOT organic it is.
I switched to sea salt for the majority of my "salting" culinary needs a few years ago, and haven't really looked back. I've also had some coarser salts at home, and have used kosher salt, but sea salt I buy in bulk does me well.

Every so often At The Meadow, a salt, chocolate, flower and wine store in town, will have a salt-tasting booth at the PSU farmer's market. It's given me the opportunity to taste salts I'd never considered before - flavored with wood, smoke, and exotic varieties from all over the world.

After a couple years of visiting the booth at the market, I recently visited the store in the Mississippi Arts neighborhood in Portland, and here's what I picked up:

Black salt (which isn't really black), finishing sea salt and three teeny bars of fine chocolate, you know, so I could meet the $10 debit card minimum. I sampled the mint and the orange, and so far the orange was actually my favorite. The store has an incredible selection and I think everything is also available for sampling. You can shop online here.

And WHOA! Himalayan cave salt. A gift from a dear friend, who knows how much this means to me (as recommended by Blossoming Lotus). This is supposed to be finely grated onto foods, and food can also be cooked on it in the oven! Time to get off my ass and buy a microplane grater.
I'm very, very excited.

Check out At The Meadow's Guide on Gourmet Salt usage here.

19 comments:

Vegyogini said...

What a cool experience to sample those different salts and learn about their properties! Oh, and I just bought a microplane grater at Williams-Sonoma & it has rocked my world on a zesting level. Mine is the one w/ the yellow handle. So worth the $15!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Oooh, cool! I have sea salt & recently bought some smoked salt. I've been wanting to try pink Himalayan, but I don't know how to use the different salts out there!

pleasantly plump vegan said...

fun fun fun

amy said...

I love salt, too. I have a very expensive box with "fleur de sel" which my exchange visit brought me from an French Island but am afraid to use it, because it's so expensive (I fear to become addicted to it :-D)

K.E.N. said...

hey, jess
i have a picture of my grilled cheese from this weekend. i'll tell you more about it somewhere other than here :o)

funwithyourfood said...

I would have used that same food court analogy. I'm a salty person too. The problem is that I LOVE to bake but I have my one cupcake or my bite or to and I'm done. I swear everyone is going to get sick of me passing on the baked goods at SOME point.
let us know how the new salts work out!

Teddy

VeganFabulous said...

You and I are exact opposites in this department. I go out of my way to exclude sale from cooking because I can't stand it! :)

Peace by Pastries said...

Who knew salt could be so very impressive! I am thinking of making a trip up to Portland in a few months...can you give me the top three restaurants I should visit?

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

Thanks, karla!



peace by pastries - there's so much to see!
definitely check out www.stumptownvegans.com
definitely stop by the vegan mini mall
I would nominate sweet pea bakery to the top 3 list.
other additions: nutshell, paradox/vita.. it's hard to narrow it down unless I know what you're looking for/into. email me @ getsconed @ gmail.com for more if you need it..

Don't Get Mad Get Vegan! said...

oh yum! i don't favor salty things but i am a freak for good quality salt, maybe since i use it so sparingly?

the Himalayan salt is amazing. you'll love it!

Bianca said...

I love salt too! I recently stumbled upon some Pink Himalayan salt at World Market. And it's great! I wish we had a salt, chocolate, and wine store here. What a great combo!

vegetalion said...

I've never used exotic salts - I have to admit I'm a little afraid my palate might not be refined enough to know the difference? let me know how it goes!

VeggieGirl said...

that is perhaps the LARGEST salt crystal I have ever seen - whoa!

DJ said...

salt makes so many things better!

Vegan_Noodle said...

This post has forced me to go buy some actual real sea salt... not just the regular variety (whatever it's called with the girl walking across). I just needed that little push.

Matt said...

In regards to not knowing how to use the different salts, the meadow website has a guide on salt use! There's a chart showing which salts go best with what types of food as well. It's in PDF format here: Introduction to Gourmet Salt

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

Thanks, Matt! I'll update the post with that as well.

elizabet said...

thanks for the tip on the salt pdf from the meadow. a friend in seattle was just telling me to buy some tuffle salt from them...i'm just learning about salt, so..

thanks for all the great suggestions tonight at the TVW meeting and it was nice to meet you!

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

Have fun at the salt store, elizabet. It was honestly a very positive, adventurous experience. Let me know what you think of the truttle salt, because I am intrigued.

It was nice to meet you too! I'm hoping to become involved, so we'll see how it goes.