I was doing a reconnaissance mission through our pantry (actually a large closet) which is jam-packed with stuff and I came across the salt â€œsection.â€ Tucked away behind 10 inches of shelf frontage were about a dozen different containers of salt! And this only covers the imported salts! I also stock local rock salt from Batangas, and chi-chi varieties like branded Guimaras saltâ€¦ There has been so much written about salt and the best mini-story I read about the subject was written by Jeffrey Steingarten in one of his booksâ€¦ essentially, since the base ingredient of sodium is the same in all salts, its just a question of the different other mineral contents, the structure of the crystals, and the price you pay that probably sways your taste buds! I can definitely taste the difference between iodized and non-iodized salt but I have to admit great difficulty in discerning between non-iodized salts in a blindfolded taste-test. So, basically, I admit itâ€™s a bit ma-arte to have so many salts in stock but thatâ€™s just meâ€¦
Some of the salts in the photo are French sea salts, hand gathered ephemeral flakes that taste more salty than salt, there are also U.S. rock salts and kosher salts and treated table salts (donâ€™t you hate it when salt sticks to the shakers?). I also have the Maldon sea salts that have been made in Maldon, U.K. for hundreds of years by heating salt water and evaporating the water, leaving the most amazing white fluffy crystals. And finally, there is my latest acquisition, pink Himalayan salt which comes from ancient fossil marine sea salt deposits 10,000 feet high up in the Himalayasâ€¦ at PHP500 for a small container, this is the most wickedly expensive salt I have ever purchased. It looks good, with a tinge of pink, apparently a result of the calcium, magnesium, copper and iron deposits. It has an incredibly clean salty taste. It is now my third most favorite salt and one that I put out on the table when there is a dinnerâ€¦it makes a good conversation pieceâ€¦here I have it in a crystal salt dish with a silver salt spoon. Apparently, at some of the toniest Japanese restaurants in the States, they come up to you after you get your teriyaki or grilled dish and scrape some pink salt off of large blocks of Himalayan salt! Up top are the Maldon flakes, my all time favorite salt, in jade salt dish with a mother of pearl salt spoon. They are best served directly on cooked food, like a sprinkling on a massive steak just as it is being brought to the table or on fine dark chocolateâ€¦ But my second best salt is the fairly cheap Kosher salt in the large box in the photoâ€¦I like to cook with this salt. I am generally disappointed with local salts only because they are usually so wet, a result of poor manufacture and storageâ€¦all they need is a commercial dryer to suck out the moistureâ€¦but we do use a lot of it in our everyday cooking as well.