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Which salt do you use at the table?

ethnicchower Jul 14, 2011 01:05 PM

I am wondering if you have any strong opinions about the best salt type (and/or brand) to use at the table.

In particular, do you use a fine salt that you can simply sprinkle over the food, or do you use a salt with bigger crystals in a salt grinder?


  1. Novelli Jul 14, 2011 01:09 PM

    I, personally, don't have salt on my dining table, but if I did need to bring it out for any reason, I would just bring out the bowl of Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt I use in the kitchen.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Novelli
      Will Owen Jul 15, 2011 05:10 PM

      That's about all we ever use, too, and never have it on the table any more. However, for dinners with guests we put some in an old-fashioned salt cellar, the kind with a little spoon.

    2. grayelf Jul 14, 2011 02:33 PM

      regular ol' iodized free-running salt in the shaker, plus a container of Maldon (aka "crunchy") salt which can be crumbled over whatever

      1. jmcarthur8 Jul 14, 2011 02:37 PM

        I don't put salt on the table for two reasons:

        1) I've already salted the food as I cooked it, if it needed salt.

        2) Nobody in my family really likes salt very much, including me.

        Like Novelli, it would be the kosher salt I use for cooking, if I did have a need to have it at the table.
        The one exception would be fresh tomatoes from the garden, and they may get a light light light crunchy sprinkle of Ile de Re sea salt. But I really prefer them with a nice grind of coarse black pepper.

        1. o
          odkaty Jul 14, 2011 02:49 PM

          We use a kosher salt for everything except baking. I use regular iodized (or is it non-iodized?) salt for baking/canning/candies, unless the recipe specifies kosher.

          1. w
            wincountrygirl Jul 14, 2011 02:50 PM

            I also do not put salt on the table - hopefully my food is properly seasoned when it goes out. But if someone requires extra salt I have a salt grinder with sea salt.

            11 Replies
            1. re: wincountrygirl
              mnosyne Jul 14, 2011 06:31 PM

              If you don!t have salt on the table, how will you distinguish between the nobles (above the salt) and the commoners ( below the salt)?

              1. re: mnosyne
                zin1953 Jul 16, 2011 07:54 AM

                Nobles? Commoners?

                We're an anarcho-syndicalist commune. We take it in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week. But all the decisions of that officer have to be ratified at a special biweekly meeting . . . .

                1. re: zin1953
                  sunshine842 Jul 18, 2011 12:38 AM

                  dingdingding -- we have a winner!!!

                  ***Reply Of The Month***

                  1. re: sunshine842
                    Vetter Sep 29, 2011 08:23 AM

                    Snort! Oh my god, I am so glad I had my coffee already swallowed. Winner indeed!

                  2. re: zin1953
                    mnosyne Jul 18, 2011 10:46 AM

                    I love this website! I'm never disappointed by the sparkling dialogue and witty contretemps. Well, back to reading Beowulf in the original old English.

                    1. re: zin1953
                      johnb Sep 28, 2011 07:13 PM

                      I know I'm late to the party here, and not to be too picky, but if you have executive officers turn over weekly, how do the bi-weekly general meetings manage to ratify their decisions? Or is that part of the anarcho-syndicalist ethic?

                      Just curious.

                      1. re: johnb
                        sunshine842 Sep 29, 2011 07:34 AM

                        Satire. Confusing people since the 4th century.

                        1. re: sunshine842
                          DoobieWah Sep 29, 2011 07:47 AM

                          Monty Python. Confusing people since 1969.

                          (I'm being repressed!)

                          1. re: DoobieWah
                            sunshine842 Sep 29, 2011 02:03 PM

                            I fart in your general direction....

                            1. re: sunshine842
                              DoobieWah Sep 29, 2011 02:08 PM

                              Yeah well...

                              "Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries."

                              1. re: DoobieWah
                                sunshine842 Sep 29, 2011 02:13 PM

                                *snerk*....I'll not reply, lest we end up in the "rejected post pile", leaving ONLY a flesh wound.

                2. h
                  Harters Jul 14, 2011 03:02 PM

                  Don't have strong opinions - as I've only just started putting salt on my food occasionaly after many years of not doing so at all. I use Halen Mon seasalt.

                  1. e
                    ediblover Jul 14, 2011 03:15 PM

                    Somewhere in the middle. Not fine like table salt, but not needing a grinder. So, either coarsely ground sea salt or kosher. This is because it's easy to over-salt the food if the salt is fine, but at the same time, I don't want it to take forever for the thing to melt down or affect texture too much due to it being huge.

                    I drink plenty of milk, consume a lot of produce and occasionally take a supplement, so I know I'm getting enough iodine in my diet. For that reason, I stopped buying iodized salt. If I suspect my diet is lacking, I'll go back to it.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ediblover
                      CanadaGirl Jul 14, 2011 03:27 PM

                      I do not usually put salt on the table. But if someone would like some I have a salt shaker with plain old iodized salt. I use kosher salt when I cook, but have the shaker to put on popcorn

                    2. e
                      escondido123 Jul 14, 2011 04:47 PM

                      Kosher salt in a glass shaker.

                      1. s
                        Steve Jul 14, 2011 09:05 PM

                        Coarse salt in a grinder

                        1. KaimukiMan Jul 15, 2011 01:41 AM

                          ummm..... table salt, good old morton's or leslie, but its not on the table often. growing up we always had salt and pepper on the table at mealtimes. It was part of setting the table.

                          i usually only have two or three types of salt in the house. table salt, white hawaiian salt (sea salt), and on occasion red hawaiian salt (sea salt harvested in clay ponds.)

                          1. Delucacheesemonger Jul 15, 2011 04:13 AM

                            French fleur de sel. Use little salt when cooking, but there is nothing like a good piece of bread, sweet butter and a little sprinkle of the fleur.

                            1. Karl S Jul 15, 2011 05:56 AM

                              I wouldn't dream of omitting salt & pepper at the table: I know from personal experience that allergies and all sorts of chronic and seasonal congestive conditions means that very few people will taste the meal the way I taste it, so what I consider properly seasoned is, in the end, irrelevant.

                              I offer both coarse salt in a grinder and fine Diamond Crystal salt (non-iodized) in a shaker.

                              I don't know where my mother's individual salt cellars went, but if you want to offer coarse salt, that's the best way to do it individually.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Karl S
                                Delucacheesemonger Jul 15, 2011 05:57 AM

                                Also for most European salts as retain a lot of moisture, thus a shaker or grinder gets mucked up easily.

                                1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                                  Karl S Jul 15, 2011 06:31 AM

                                  True. In the Northeast, this is an issue from May through September, the humid months, especially July & August, of course...

                              2. s
                                small h Jul 15, 2011 06:44 AM

                                Red Hawaiian salt in a grinder.

                                1. e
                                  exvaxman Jul 15, 2011 06:20 PM

                                  I smoke my own salt and put it in a grinder - otherwise, a bottle of "NuSalt".

                                  1. v
                                    velochic Jul 15, 2011 07:38 PM

                                    I have non-iodized table salt on the table for my mother, who lives with us. She (IMO) over-salts her food, and she salts first and asks questions later, so to speak... always has and always will. :) I use kosher or fleur de sel (depending on the dish) when preparing food.

                                    1. tracylee Jul 15, 2011 09:54 PM

                                      I'm single and haven't entertained since I became single again, so what's on the table is personal preference based on what I'm eating. Breakfast this morning was hard-boiled eggs with generic non-iodized salt from the salt pig, but generally, if I think I'll need to salt something, it's a container of fleur de sel that I keep on the counter for ease of access. I have a number of other salts that I've brought out in the past for special dishes, but haven't in awhile.

                                      1. j
                                        josephnl Jul 15, 2011 11:56 PM

                                        I think it's terribly presumptuous of anyone to say that they've salted food properly for all of their guests. There is, I think, a very wide range in personal taste in saltiness. Although some foods do benefit by adding salt during the cooking process, for the most part salt, unlike herbs and spices, can be added to taste at the table. I personally do not like overly salty food, and thus generally tend to under salt when cooking. I always have a salt mill on the table filled with fleur de sel for those who wish to add salt. I also have some grey salt, and also some Himalayan pink salt in the cupboard which I sometimes think is fun to use with simple foods such as beautiful sliced tomatoes melon or grilled fish.

                                        1. k
                                          kpaxonite Jul 16, 2011 06:57 PM

                                          It depends.

                                          For salads I would put out a finishing salt ; the variety that is flaky and has a crisp... it just works perfectly with vegetables and adds a crunch.

                                          For other courses fleur de sel.

                                          1. chefathome Jul 17, 2011 03:12 PM

                                            We have over 20 kinds of salt for various reasons. We use kosher for cooking, fleur de sel and about 10 others for finishing (including on caramel, brownies, shortbread); flake salt for salads (especially butter lettuce); sel gris for chops and roasts and steak and preserving lemons (oh, and for baking in salt crust); shio for fatty or firm foods such as crab, avocado; Trapani for fresh sardines, olives, mushrooms, pasta; smoked flake for fish, especially salmon and flambeed bananas; Himalayan salt block for thinly sliced duck breast , egss...maple smoked for grilled peaches and ice cream. Our list is quite lengthy.

                                            1. pocketgarden Jul 17, 2011 03:16 PM

                                              Maldon. its heaven

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: pocketgarden
                                                chefathome Jul 17, 2011 03:29 PM

                                                Have you tried the smoked maldon? Mmmmmm....

                                              2. b
                                                blackpointyboots Jul 17, 2011 05:00 PM

                                                I leave out regular iodized but nobody uses it. I personally can't stand the taste, too much bite to it. I bought a jar of "RealSalt" after the doc told me to use it to get some additional minerals in my diet. Now everyone uses that. I use kosher or sea salt in certain recipes that need it.

                                                1. susans Jul 17, 2011 11:42 PM

                                                  No salt on my table. If extra salt is needed on cooked food, we just sprinkle a little more Diamond Kosher in the kitchen. I have regular non-iodized for recipes that call for fine salt and some coarse sea salt for the occasional cold dish where it makes sense , but don't use them for cooking and don't add it to cooked food.

                                                  8 Replies
                                                  1. re: susans
                                                    MysticYoYo Jul 18, 2011 07:39 AM

                                                    I cook with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper corns, but I have a salt (iodized) shaker on the table as well as a pepper grinder, so those dining can season according to their taste.

                                                    What disturbs, me, however is those who grab the salt shaker and season liberally with out having even tasted their food. WTF is that all about? I have noticed that these people do that in restaurants also. It almost makes me want to over-salt the food I am cooking in order to teach them a lesson. Almost.

                                                    1. re: MysticYoYo
                                                      Monica Jul 18, 2011 10:51 AM

                                                      LOL, my husband used to do that before he met me...now, I don't even let him touch salt shaker unless the food was made to require salt, ie, boiled eggs.

                                                      1. re: MysticYoYo
                                                        jmcarthur8 Jul 18, 2011 12:55 PM

                                                        A lady did that at a pot-luck we attended this week. Took the salt and pepper shakers to the entire plate of food before she even sat down.

                                                        My son had a friend in high school who gave up salt for Lent (he was a salt-til-it's-crunchy guy). After just a week or so, he was amazed that different foods all tasted so different from one another.

                                                        1. re: jmcarthur8
                                                          LeoLioness Jul 18, 2011 01:03 PM

                                                          Gave up salt? Or gave up salting his food after it was cooked?

                                                          1. re: LeoLioness
                                                            jmcarthur8 Jul 18, 2011 01:39 PM

                                                            He didn't cook, his parents did, so he wasn't avoiding the salt that they put in the food.. he gave up his habit of pouring salt over everything on his plate. Ever see someone sprinkle so much salt on pizza that it sparkled? That was him.

                                                            1. re: jmcarthur8
                                                              KaimukiMan Jul 20, 2011 08:36 AM

                                                              I have a friend who salts everything... but i really did think he was the only one in the world who put salt on pizza, and yes... till it sparkles is a perfect description.

                                                        2. re: MysticYoYo
                                                          sunshine842 Jul 18, 2011 01:05 PM

                                                          I got nothing but backtalk when I indicated to a visiting teenager that it's rude to salt and pepper things before tasting because it sends the very clear message that you don't trust the cook to be able to produce a meal that is edible without burying it under salt and pepper.

                                                          The backtalk stopped, however, when I added that it's also a very clear indicator that you think your mom is a crappy cook who can't be trusted to produce an edible meal, and that presalting things is the only way to render things edible.. (said mom is actually quite a good cook)

                                                          1. re: MysticYoYo
                                                            al b. darned Oct 1, 2011 07:40 PM

                                                            In our house, when growing up, Being Rude was one of the High Sins. It was Rude and an insult to the cook to salt your food before tasting it. It was also Rude and an insult to the cook to do so afterward, too, especially at someone else's house. There were exceptions, of course. It was ok to add salt to corn on the cob or pop corn, for example, but on the whole, adding salt (or pepper) to your plate "just wasn't done."

                                                            Odd, tho, Mom always had salt and pepper shakers on the table, and she never said anything to guests who availed themselves to them.

                                                        3. Monica Jul 18, 2011 10:48 AM

                                                          I bought a whole bunch of camargue salt from my last visit to France...been using that...love it especially on eggs, salad, grilled corn and bread with butter.

                                                          1. l
                                                            LeoLioness Jul 18, 2011 10:52 AM

                                                            Kosher salt in a grinder on the table when I have people over. I think it's a little obnoxious to deny a guest more salt on their food, should that be what their palate wants.

                                                            1. Pixie Muse Jul 18, 2011 06:44 PM

                                                              Himalayan salt and fleur de sel..... is all I use.

                                                              1. DoobieWah Jul 20, 2011 01:57 PM

                                                                I am a "saltie".

                                                                For the table and regular old meals, I have a thumb grinder with Coarse Roland Sea Salt.

                                                                For special occasions and for finishing dishes, I have another dozen or so including Maldons, Himalaya, Fleur de Sel, Celtic, Snomash Smoked, Murray River Pink, Hawaiian Red, Virgin Island Salt from Salt Island, etc., etc., etc.

                                                                I love salt and while you may think you've salted your dish perfectly, we'll both have less heartache if you allow me to add a little more.

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: DoobieWah
                                                                  sunshine842 Jul 20, 2011 03:17 PM

                                                                  Doobie, just do me the honour of *tasting* my food before you dump salt on it. Then I know you're a saltie, and not just rude.

                                                                  1. re: sunshine842
                                                                    DoobieWah Jul 20, 2011 03:34 PM


                                                                    Can I bring anything?

                                                                    1. re: DoobieWah
                                                                      sunshine842 Jul 20, 2011 04:13 PM


                                                                      Caramel au beurre sale?


                                                                2. l
                                                                  laliz Sep 29, 2011 09:31 AM

                                                                  I don't have salt on the table either. I live alone, so it is not an issue. I only have coarse Kosher salt in the kitchen. There is no other salt in the house.

                                                                  1. g
                                                                    gilintx Sep 29, 2011 10:39 AM

                                                                    I just did a quick count, and realized I had 4 different kinds of salt in my pantry (our grey sea salt is all gone, or it would be 5). For all seasoning and table usage, however, we go with morton's kosher.

                                                                    1. s
                                                                      swoll50 Sep 30, 2011 07:18 PM

                                                                      Kosher in a grinder.

                                                                      I don't really care how much salt someone wants. I'll worry about how mine tastes.

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