Salt is often augmented with other natural elements to add to its mission of infusing flavor, depth, and color to culinary endeavors. These types of salt are often perfect when used in any type of application, but they tend to really shine as finishing salts, that is, salts that add a little special something to a dish before serving to your guests.
If the kitchen were a kindergarten, and ingredients were students, salt would definitely get gold stars for playing well with others—and our exciting varieties of blended salts are proof of it. Salt, as we know, has an amazing ability to work well with all kinds of different foods and flavors, and we've developed some really exciting blended salts that will help you get some culinary gold stars with your dishes.
Our salts in the Beyond Blends series use the Pure Foundation salts as a base and then extend the flavor using only the finest ingredients supplied mostly from premium organic or sustainable sources.
Some popular examples of blended salts include herb salts, smoked and roasted salts, and countless other varieties that tap into nature's most delicious bounty.
Our Beyond Blends series of salts has an array of herb-blended salts that will take your dishes to new levels. Our Chef's Blend is one of our favorite kitchen staples—a mixture of every chef's essentials: salt, pepper, and just a hint of red pepper. It doesn't get more essential than that! Our Herb Garden salt, too, will become a kitchen staple. This blend provides the flavor of all the wonderful fresh, spring herbs that you enjoy all rolled into one, perfect jar.
Garlic salt is also a well-known, flavored salt formed from salt and dried, ground garlic. It can be used as a replacement for fresh garlic in recipes or, for those who just can't get enough garlic, as an added burst of garlic goodness to your plate.
Our very own Garlic Shallot salt goes a step beyond traditional garlic salt by adding in subtle onion flavors. You'll love using it in your pasta dishes and chicken recipes. If burgers are your territory, though, try seasoning your ground beef with this blend to add an extra burst of flavor. You're guaranteed to make some fans. Also try our delicious French Herb Blend that combines the luscious herbs found in the French countryside with regal fleur de sel for an explosion of rich flavor.
We have a variety of salts in our Pure Foundations line that have been dried with smoke and take on wonderful and nuanced flavors. Our Fumee de Sel, for example, has been smoked with oak from a barrel that previously held white wine. Slightly sweet and entirely adventurous, we also use this salt as a base for one of our most favorite blends, Hickory Maple salt.
Our Hickory Maple salt in the Beyond Blends series has a stunning balance of smokiness and maple sweetness, with a touch of organic red pepper. It's so good, you'll want to dip your finger in the jar to sneak in a few nibbles! Give this salt a try it on a ham sandwich—you'll wonder how you ever lived without it. Or try our Alderwood Smoke salt that adds the natural heady flavor of slow-smoked alderwood to sea salt, for an incredibly deep smokiness that enhances venison or root vegetables.
Smoked and roasted salts are great to add to your grilling repertoire and provide you with the power to infuse your soups, meats, and sandwiches with a rich, authentic, smoky flavor. Remember, though, that with premium, smoked salts, a little goes a long way. You'll want to be cautious so you don't inadvertently "smoke out" your other flavors.
We take blended salts to an entirely new level of innovation with our Wet Blends collection. These salts have been infused with premium, organic oils to create intense, rich flavors that will elevate your dish to high-class standards. Try our Truffle Wet Blend, which includes white and black truffle oils with a mix of our Sel Gris and Black Lava salt. The texture and color resembles that of caviar, and it's taste is both refined and other-wordly.
Once you open the door to the endless possibilities of blended salts, there's really no stopping the creativity…or the flavor! Browse our Beyond Blends series to see all of our gold-star, blended salts.
No other condiment holds as revered and as permanent a place on every restaurant and kitchen table as salt does. This is quite an honor, of course, to be considered such a staple. Unfortunately, the ubiquitous salt shaker isn't really doing much for your dish or your taste buds.
This is a commonly held belief, but one that is quite antiquated. In 1924, the United States began fortifying salt with potassium iodide in an attempt to combat and prevent iodide deficiency. So in 1924, you perhaps would have wanted to buy iodized salt to help prevent certain health issues.
Luckily, iodine deficiency is not as wide-spread a problem as it once was in the United States, so most of us have no real need to continue using iodized salt. Iodine also occurs naturally in several forms of fare—including milk, kelp, and fish—so you can reach your daily intake needs by eating these foods. Iodized salt usually includes other additives, and when used may give off a pungent, iodine odor that is far from appetizing. Recent studies have even shown that the amount of iodine in iodized salt is negligible and isn't providing any benefits. If your body doesn't need an extra dose of iodine, why let it blemish the flavor of your foods?
Of course, this is not the case for everyone. We at Beyond the Shaker, despite all of our knowledge, are not doctors (and sadly, we don't play doctors on TV, either!), but we do want you to be happy and healthy. If you have thyroid problems, are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or have young children, discuss your iodine needs with your doctor. To learn more about iodized salt, visit nutrition.suite101.com.
Table salt is usually mass-produced, refined salt, but don't let the word "refined" fool you—table salt is far from sophisticated. Refined salt contains additives and agents to prevent it from excessive drying and caking. These additives can often result in a strong, bitter taste—and that hardly enhances your eating experience.
Our gourmet salts are naturally lower in sodium content as compared to table salt in the same serving size and satisfy your salt needs in a tastier way. We want our meals to be delicious, not brackish!
High consumption of refined salt can even have negative affects on our health while natural, unrefined salts maintain their beneficial qualities to our health—not to mention these natural, unrefined salts taste much, much better.
Controversy and confusion abounds around this topic, and it's important to stay informed and know the facts. Writer Gary Taubes investigated this rampant controversy and confusion over salt for the esteemed scientific journal, Science, published by the highly-regarded American Association for the Advancement of Science. Taubes, who won an award from the National Association of Science Writers for the report, concluded:
"After interviews with some 80 researchers, clinicians, and administrators around the world, it is safe to say that if ever there were a controversy over the interpretation of scientific data, this is it…After decades of intensive research, the apparent benefits of avoiding salt have only diminished. This suggests either that the true benefit has now been revealed and is indeed small or that it is non-existent and researchers believing they have detected such benefits have been deluded by the confounding of other variables."
Don't let the confusion dupe you. Toss the shaker, and treat your table to an array of natural, unrefined, salts that are certain to add excitement to your dishes.
Salt can take many different forms for a multitude of uses. Sizes and shapes can run from very fine to very coarse.
Traditional types of salt usually have very fine crystals that dissolve very easily, and they excel when used for baking purposes. We have several types of very fine salt in our Pure Foundations line, including our absolute favorite—Fleur de Sel.
Salt may be in flake form—large crystals that crumble and dissolve quickly. Salt in flake form is great for dishes with shorter cooking times or added right before serving to add an extra kick.
Kosher salt is often in flake form, although it's mined. Like sea salt flakes, it is easily pinched and sprinkled—making it a great mate in the kitchen.
Sea salt can be in a rock or coarse form—characterized by large, hard granules that may not be suitable for all dishes since it does not dissolve easily. Coarser salts, in general, are good for dishes that have long bake or cooking times so if your intent is to have the salt dissolve completely, it will have time to do so. Coarse salt can also be used to help break up certain foods in blended applications.
No matter what, if the granules or flakes seem a bit too large for your purposes, you can try a salt grinder to make the granules smaller or more manageable. Remember that a ceramic grinder should be used with most premium sea salts to help keep your grinder from rusting.
Your taste and your intent will dictate which type of salt you use in which type of situation—trust your eyes and your taste buds, and you'll be certain to find the right balance.
Don't just enjoy the salt; learn the lingo!