salt grinders: essential or pretentious?
I understand the value of freshly ground pepper, nutmeg, or any spice where the essential oils dissipate over time. But what is the purpose of grinding salt? It's a mineral that should not change with time provided it is stored in a low humidity environment, so I can't imagine that it for a fresh taste. I keep 4 different siza and style of salt crystals: kosher, coarse grain sea salt, rock salt and some Morton's iodized lurking somewhere, so I think I've got most bases covered. Opinions?
I have no idea, but I think they look so cute together on the table, the coarse sea salt grinder and pepper grinder. However, I, too, would like to know.
If I need to grind salt I do it in my mortar. My DH's mom gave us one years and years ago. It was glass and the grinding ball never did much. It finally went to the Good Will.
I personally don't use one, but I think they are perfectly acceptable. It's just another way to use and store salt. You (and me) store salt in a salt pig or small container, right? What's the difference in storing it in a salt grinder? Other folks might think it's foolish to store salt in one vessel, transfer to another to grind (mortar & pestle) and then possibly transfer it to yet another vessel for storage or use. I mostly use kosher salt, but for larger rock salts I think it's great. It also makes for a very acceptable and convenient way of serving salt in a dining/restaurant table setting when inferior iodized salt is undesirable. I have much more respect for a person with a salt grinder on their table as opposed to a salt shaker.
I don't know about essential, but mine is certainly convenient. I keep a salt pig with sea salt on my stove for cooking, but I have a salt/pepper grinder from Crate & Barrel for seasoning when we eat at the table. It it split vertically into two compartments with whole peppercorns in one side and rock salt or coarse sea salt (depending on what I refill it with) in the other. You crank it one way for pepper and the other way for salt. You can adjust the size of the grind, but it adjust for both salt & pepper, not individually.
I like it - I can grab one thing and carry both salt and pepper to the table. I know they have pepper grinders with salt shakers on top, but I think it's too easy to shake out too much salt with those. With mine, I do have a tendency to pepper first and then salt, since you get a little residual when you switch directions and I'd rather have more pepper than salt on my food.