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Speciality Sea Salts

Went to Longo yesterday and notice they have jars of special salts - Himalaya Pink, Mediterrean, etc. The company is Just a Pinch.


Personally, I don't want to buy them all to try what each salt taste like (even though they have some gift packages with 4 types inside). Is there a taste test anywhere?

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  1. I have seen this brand at a lot of grocery and specialty food stores (from the healthy butcher to metro) but have been reluctant to try them.

    I know the allure of colour is tempting, but it is basically just glorifying impurities and dirt in your salt?
    I find all your need for cooking and seasoning is three salts.
    Free running iodized salt
    Kosher salt
    and Fleur De Sel for finishing dishes.

    but as you I tempted to know more and try them, but I don't feel the urge to drop big bucks on pink sand or 100 yr old lava in my salt, when all I want is a salt?

    2 Replies
    1. re: flying101

      If you haven't give Maldon a try as well.

      1. re: JennaBean

        Second this suggestion. Waaay back I reported on a 'salt tasting' that a friend set up. Everybody (and I mean everybody) had Maldon salt top. It had been originally recommended to me by a chef (as a finishing salt) and I had given the hostess that particular sample on a previous visit.

    2. haven't tried these brands but the tastes of these expensive salts are wasted if you're cooking w/ them. They should really be used as finishing salts.

      it's not essential, but if you've got money to burn then buy them as finishing salts.

      1. i've been curious about these salts as well, i hope someone can share some more insight. they are definitely for finishing and not cooking. i can only say that i tried a truffle infused salt (different brand), and it was very tasty.

        1. I haven't tried this brand, but I do enjoy using these salts for finishing. The "impurities" do lend a unique flavor.
          I will say that one of my favorite types of sea salt is Danish Viking salt, or alderwood smoked salt. It most definitely adds more than color. A sprinkle in a bowl of New England Clam Chowder is heaven! It brings a smoky depth of flavor wherever it's sprinkled.

          1. Aside from the criteria of flavour, which is most important IMO, different sea salts contain different minerals. So there is a "possible" health benefit to consuming the different salts.

            Aberginegal, have you tried sprinking the truffle salt on steaks? One of the guys at Cumbrae's (actually, he might be the owner), swears by it. I find it "okay" but thought I'd pass the recommendation on, nonetheless.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Apprentice

              thanks for the suggestion Apprentice! since on occasion i get steaks from cumbrae's, maybe it'll be a better test to put the salt on one of them! truffle salt on a hard boiled egg was delish, but truffles and eggs seem to be a natural match.

              1. re: auberginegal

                softened butter and mixed in truffle salt.... roll up, slice and put on steak. yums.

            2. I was at Ashleys this past weekend and with about $50 left to spend after returning some gifts, I decided to buy some new salts as they had some interesting ones.

              Typically I have only ever used french sea salts for finishing, but picked up a couple interesting ones.

              Cypress Flake Salt - Had this at Nota Bene recently, loved it, great texture and flavour, especially on a big steak!

              And as another poster noted, I picked up some Alderwood smoked salt, fantastic stuff...cant wait to try this out on some new potatoes, or to finish sauces!

              4 Replies
              1. re: Sadistick

                the spice trader at queen and bathurst (west of bathurst) carries an insane amount of salt. they let you taste them and have little notecards displaying how and when to use them.

                1. re: mtampoya

                  Good call on Spice Trader. I really like that spot. Although, of all the salts I've tried I like the smoked sea salt for finishing dishes that are enhanced by a smokiness and Maldon for about everything else. Love the way it has a slight crunch and a really clean salt flavour.

                  I've also noticed that metro is carrying specialty salts now too. They're in containers on top of the cheese cases, or at least they are in the Liberty Village location.

                  1. re: jamesm

                    Actually went to the Spice Trader too and saw there huge variety of salts and other spices. They have a whole chunk of Pink salt as well as gift packages.
                    The chunk of pink salt can be shaved on as finishing touch. I tried the Himalaya Pink and it tasted pretty good, without the 'bitter' taste I get from tasting regular table salt.

                    1. re: spoonandsoup

                      I got a whole box of different salts from the Spice Trader for Christmas one year. I agree about the smoked sea salt for flavour, it's great. Murray River salt is also a favourite for texture - perfect on eggs.

              2. If you live in the east end you can try going to Foody's bulk in pickering, it's a gourmet bulk store and they carry those salts but you can probably buy as much as you like and taste, they have smoked salts and all sorts of stuff, really nice. It's not far from the Rouge Hill GO station area so I'd say it's borderline Toronto/pickering.

                2 Replies
                1. re: BamiaWruz

                  Check out Selsi Sea Rocks at the SLM -lower level- for sampling. They have salts and peppercorns (sometimes fresh) from around the world and are happy to enlighten you on the products..

                  1. re: DanieDines

                    +1 on DanieDines' suggestion. I've never been to this booth when the people there were not very nice and eager to educate me on different salts. They educate by giving you small samples to go along with their teachings. I buy all my specialty salts from there.

                2. I've bought a number of the Just a Pinch salts, and I think that the vast majority of them have been a waste of money: they're pretty, but the tastes aren't particularly distinguishable from each other (apart from the smoked salts like Salish, which I and everyone I've asked think is actually quite revolting), and for the price, simply not worth it.

                  That being said, I must recommend their Murray River pink Australian salt. It's the most expensive (I think it even beats fleur-de-sel in terms of price per kg), but it's the first one that I've actually really enjoyed: the salt comes in these lovely, thin, flaky crystal sheets and the texture in your mouth is heavenly. I can't pass by my container of it without eating a pinch.

                  1. Try the St Lawrence Market as well. Many shops sells specialty salts in bulk.

                    1. Have you tried President's Choice Finishing Salts?


                      Cyprus Mediterranean, Himalayan Pink Salt, and Fleur de Sel.

                      I found them acceptable.