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Top Pick Of The Week

May 19, 2009

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Corn

Layer the flavors of fresh corn, creamy butter and Smoked Serrano Chile sea salt. Or maybe you’d prefer Black Truffle Salt, or Lime Fresco, or Chile Verde. Set out all the jars and go to town! Photo by Anna Rosell | IST.

WHAT IT IS: Twenty flavored sea salts.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: A broad selection of delicious naturally flavored salt options.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Just a pinch transforms the flavor of everyday dishes—turns the predictable into “gourmet.”
WHERE TO BUY IT: Saltworks.us and fine retailers nationwide.
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Fusion Flavored Sea Salt:
Well Worth Its Salt

CAPSULE REPORT: We all have it, that ubiquitous jar of garlic salt. We probably bought it years ago, when such things were what one bought as “the” everyday seasoning. Now, it sits quietly in the pantry with its cousins, flavor fading, as 21st century culinary trends beckon towards the fresh: fresh garlic, fresh herbs, flavors bursting fresh from the soil, not dried and powdered from the jar.

But what to do when you want something salty, yet flavored, to liven up your popcorn or sprinkle on your grilled chicken breast, ear of corn, steamed veggies or whatever?

Welcome to the new world of seasoned salt—sophisticated, elegant seasoned salt that is a focal point of a food, like the grains of smoked sea salt that might top a caramel—both beautiful and flavorful. There have been sea salts infused with flavor before, but never to the extent of Fusion Salts, a line of 20 flavored sea salts ranging from an update of the old standard, Roasted Garlic Sea Salt to the newly conceived Thai Ginger Sea Salt.

All natural and made from top quality ingredients, these salts are balanced and bursting with flavor, perfect for for giving everything from cocktails to desserts the glamour treatment. Tomato juice with  Habanero Sea Salt? Dark chocolate truffles with Green Chili Sea Salt? An espressotini with Espresso Bravo Sea Salt instead of those sweet glass rimmers? From Merlot to Spicy Curry, this is the time to reach past the fleur de sel and let your inner culinary artist paint with flavored Fusion Sea Salts. The first time we encountered the line, we dabbed all 20 flavors on our tongue in one creative tastestorming session and deemed them well worth their salt. Read the full review below to see how we used them, and you’ll also find out where the expression, “to be worth one’s salt” comes from.

     
THE NIBBLE does not sell the foods we review
or receive fees from manufacturers for recommending them.

Our recommendations are based purely on our opinion, after tasting thousands of products each year, that they represent the best in their respective categories.

 

More Salty Stuff

Sea Salt Salts Saffron Salt
A Brief History Of Salt. We take it for granted, but most people, for most of history, didn’t have it. It engendered wars and caused Marie Antoinette to lose her head. Check it out. Salt Glossary. Do you know the difference between sea salt and artisan salt? Blended salt and seasoned salt? Margarita salt and kosher salt? Check out our Salt Glossary and become a salt sage. Casina Rossa Flavored Sea Salts. Imported from Italy by Ritrovo, this line has a must-buy saffron sea salt (shown above, center) and a black truffle salt we prefer to Fusion’s. Check out Casina Rossa salts.

Fusion Flavored Sea Salt: Well Worth Its Salt

INDEX OF REVIEW

This is Page 1 of a two-page article. Click on the black links to visit other pages.

MORE TO DISCOVER

Introduction

Salt is really coming up in the world. What was once the poster child for plain practicality is now gourmet, complex and hip. In this brave new world, even casual home cooks have sworn off the iodized salt* of their mothers and grandmothers in favor of kosher salt.

Today’s menus list Himalayan Pink Salt and Fleur de Sel with equal importance as Wagyu Beef or Prince Edward Island Mussels. In this climate of hyper-salt-awareness, when you seek a flavored salt, we’re not talking garlic or onion salt, or a commercial blend like Lawry’s. We’re talking annointing salt, garnishing salt, salt that is used like a fine balsamic vinegar or a great olive oil. We’re also talking $11.99 to $17.99 for a jar that varies from 3.5 ounces to 5.5 ounces, depending on flavor. But we’re talking a few grains deftly added here and there, not tablespoons of it thrown into pasta water.

Garlic Salt
It’s the “new” garlic salt. You could grind it and sprinkle it on a broiling chicken, or you could put pinches on the chicken when you put it on the

*By the way, there hasn’t been a goiter problem in America in two generations, which is why salt was iodized in the first place. Today, everyone has access to fish and other iodine-rich foods, so iodized salt is no longer needed. Then why do they still sell it? Because people think they need it, and will buy it.

But there’s so much more to do than shake and bake. Continue to Page 2 and join the fun. Before you do, though, here’s why a man is, or isn’t, “worth his salt”:

During most of the history of the world, salt was a scarce commodity and very costly. Few countries had discovered underground salt deposits, and only those with seacoasts could evaporate salt from seawater. Yet, as it is today, salt was very important for culinary, medicinal and industrial purposes. People used it as currency; in Tibet, Marco Polo noted that tiny cakes of salt were pressed with images of the Grand Khan and used as coins (salt is still used as money among the nomads of Ethiopia’s Danakil Plains). Greek slave traders often bartered salt for slaves, giving rise to the expression that a particular individual was “not worth his salt.” Roman legionnaires were paid in salt, known in Latin as a salarium, the origin of the word “salary.” Read more of the history of salt.

— April Stamm

Continue To Page 2: Traditional Salt Flavors & Serving Suggestions

Go To The Article Index Above

 

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