Finishing Salts: An Integral Component of Fine Dining Cookery
Finishing salts are way more expansive than you’d ever imagine. They can be harvested from almost all corners of the globe, and have a staggering range of appearances, textures, and flavors. Those differences couldn’t be more evident in this look at three of our favorite salts: Persian Blue, Beechwood Smoked, and Crazy Salt. While these three ingredients are all salt, their origins, production process, flavor profile, and uses couldn’t be more unique. Finishing salt have a long rich history of use in the kitchen.
Persian Blue Salt is one of the rarest and oldest salts on the planet – extracted from ancient salt ponds in the Semnan province. Specifically, the salt is found in the Ergourz mountain range – in Northern Iran. These salt ponds formed over 100 million years ago – and aren’t actually ponds anymore at all, but rather fossilized crystals, or gem. The ponds have all evaporated! It’s truly incredible to ponder the age of this salt – it was around with the dinosaurs! The shocking blue color comes from a mineral called Sylvinite – a potassium mineral that is only present in halite salts. Amazingly, only a few tons of this precious salt are extracted each year – making it an incredibly rare luxury!
Beechwood Smoked Salt is harvested in the Guerande region of France. This coarse salt is finished with a 10 day beechwood smoking process. Beechwood makes an excellent smoking wood, though it’s more typically known as a firewood than a food smoke wood. The elongated smoking process ensures that the flavor not only adheres to the outside of each salt crystal, but also penetrates deep inside for an intense, smoky finish.
And then there’s Crazy Salt. Let’s dig into what makes this seasoning so special. The spice’s base is no joke – the intensely flavored (and colored) salt is from Guerande France. The salt is then seasoned with six (yes you read that right) powerful spices to give it that ultimate addicting flavor. First, crushed pink and black peppercorns are added. The pink peppercorns alone are a real thing of beauty. Not actually a peppercorn at all, but rather a berry from the shrub Schinus, more commonly known as the Peruvian peppertree. The black peppercorn used is amongst the best in the world – with a bold flavor and hints of fruit, cocoa, and woodsy spices. On a spice scale, the heat index is milder than the Tellicherry or Wynad pepper cousins. It does have a distinct kick that leaves a pleasant tingling zing. Four more spices are added: Thyme, Chili, Cumin, and Coriander. These powerful spices combine to create a blend that is not only super flavorful, but complex, satisfying, and delicious! The only remaining question is, what do you do with it? That answer is easy: just about anything you want.However you choose to salt your food, the important thing is that you’re using a high quality salt that enhances the food you’re preparing – not distract from it. You can be certain that any of our amazing finishing salts at Lafayette Spices is a surefire way to create an incredible masterpiece of a dish! Remember, a finishing salt should be used at the end of the cooking process to keep its structure, texture, and flavor as intact as possible.