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Sep 13, 2012 07:53 PM

Sea salt

Sea salt is my favorite ingredient. It adds another dimension to every dish. There are so many kinds of sea salt with so many different tastes. I always at it at the very end of my cooking so it doesn't lose its fragrance. It's hard to decide what sea salt to use sometimes, but a good rule of thumb is "what grows together, goes together." Accordingly, I use Mediterranean sea salts in my Italian and Greek cooking, Japanese salts in my Japanese cooking (a great site is here:, and Himalayan sea salts in my South Indian cooking.

I'm interested in how other people use sea salt. Do you find it unsuitable for some dishes?

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  1. Even though I don't use it, I do believe it has it's place as a finishing salt. But only as a finishing salt.

    1. I collect it from my travels and now have over 20 varieties. They are used mainly for finishing. I have books on salt and am always interested to learn more about salts. The various shapes of the crystals are intriguing.

      1. Dusted on coffee and eggnog

        On top of chocolate chip cookies

        In peanut butter and jelly sandwiches

        On oatmeal

        On scrambled eggs

        1. We don't cook with salt. Generally speaking, I dont add it to my food at all, but my partner adds sea salt to her food at the table. We always use Halen Mon and have never felt the need to have more than one type in the cupboard.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Harters

            wow. no salt in anything at all? in the recipe or at the table? that is so interesting to me. do you find restaurant food very salty? I hope you don't mind my asking, is it for health reasons? or do you not care for it?

            1. re: eLizard

              It depends with restaurant food. Most places I go, I don't have a problem but, yes, sometimes I find the food will be overly salty for me. Generally, I think chefs are being more restrained with their use of salt and are letting the flavour of the ingredients come through better.

              Yes, I stopped using it many years for health reasons (took me much longer to stop smoking and drinking alcohol - LOL). I reckon it took about a month to readjust to not having the salt and, in particular, breaking the habit of not reaching for the salt as soon as a plate was put in front of me. About the only time I use salt now is to sprinkle it on celery, to eat with cheese - it's a very specific taste that I enjoy.

          2. Since most of my produce grows in the USA and Mexico, does that mean I should mostly use American sea salt (San Francisco bay)? What should I do with the canister of coarse Sicilian sea salt (bought on clearance)? It's too coarse to use in cooking, and other than grain size, has no discernible taste difference. Hawaiian salts make a pretty color contrast on certain dishes (black on red tomatoes), but I rarely cook 'Hawaiian'.

            3 Replies
            1. re: paulj

              Never let provenance deter you from using something.

              1. re: paulj

                For Latin American food, I like to use Bolivian sea salt. I sometimes harvest it myself from the Uyuni salt flats.

                i agree with you that Hawaiian black salts adds profundity and class to Hawaiian dishes.

                1. re: aventinus

                  What! you don't use the Ecuadorian sea salt from Salinas? OK, the town is better known as an Ecuadorian naval base and resort, but it is named after the salt ponds. Curiously they are now a bird watching destination