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Salt (the mineral) - Where is the "good stuff" ??

Where can I find loose exotic salts for flavoring, not curing?
I don't recall an Eastern Market vendor.
Would love to put together a 'sampler' as a holiday gift for a salt-lover.
Saw an artisanal sampler online, but am wary of something sold at Costco (despite NYT articles about popularity amongst DC "elite").
I live in DC, but am mobile.
Thanks !

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  1. Dean & Deluca on the web. Broad selection, a lot of exotics. You might call the Georgetowm store and ask what they have in stock. BTW, and no surprise here, these are not exactly inexpensive.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ciaohound

      Yeah... coming from New York I thought D&D also... but was hoping for something (more) special, along the lines of the way Takashimaya does teas?
      I guess I'll resort to re-packaging if I have to.
      For special salts, I'm expecting to may more than I would a box of Morton.

    2. Many of the Whole Foods Markets now have bulk salts int heir cheese departments. I know the Tenley store has a nice selection. They also have a lot of salts in their grocery aisles but many of these are flavored salts (ie blended with herbs etc) and not single origin salts.

      1. The other place to look is Balducci's. The one in Bethesda is bigger than the one by AU.

        1 Reply
        1. re: fishie

          Thanks. I've been to the AU Balducci's, no luck. Will try Bethesda.
          Never paid much attention at WF, but will dig deeper next time.

        2. Now that I've narrowed down to D&D, WF and Balducci's.... does anyone have any actual Salt Recommendations?? Regions (France, Israel, India, Africa, etc?)

          4 Replies
          1. re: dagmar

            My favorites are real fleur de sel and Celtic grey, both derived from the same saltponds in Brittany.

            1. re: ko1

              I agree. I have purchased several types from www.saltworks.us. I really like the alderwood smoked sea salt (salish) http://www.saltworks.us/shop/product.... from the northwest. It comes in a plastic grinder (if you don't already have a salt grinder). I found the Himalayan pink to be wickedly strong.

              I got into salt after reading Salt, a World History (http://www.amazon.com/Salt-World-Hist...).

            2. re: dagmar

              Hawaiian Alea and Black salts, there is a balinese lime & coconut that has a subtle exotic flavor, Fleur de sel and Grey from France, Salish Alderwood smoked are all nice. I am not a fan of the Hymalayan pink salt, no character. Sicilian salts are nice but not if they are expensive.
              Here is a good source (especially if you need 5# or 25# bags like I do at the restaurant....
              http://www.saltworks.us/shop/category...

              Dean, Owner of Dino

              1. re: deangold

                Thanks D. Saw saltworks website previously.
                They have the same giftbox I was referring to, which made me wary.
                Since you recommend, I will look into this webiste going forward.

            3. you might want to try online

              www.salttraders.com.

              2 Replies
              1. re: arose

                Salttraders.... create your own gift crate !!!
                This is EXACTLY what I was looking for.
                Done and Done !!!!
                Thanks arose!

                1. re: dagmar

                  Then again.... the Ultimate Salt Collection - by Artisan Salt Company at salttraders.com looks pretty meaty also.
                  Hmmmmm.