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When only SALT will do?

I have an immense "salt tooth" (like sweet tooth, but salty). There is this time each afternoon where I crave something nice and salty. Potato chips, popcorn, etc.

What are your favorite salty snacks? I'm looking for some inspiration--new salty snacks to add to my repertoire. Sharp salty cheese? Pickled/preserved items?

What do you reach for when "only salt will do?"

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  1. I am a popcorn freak but have been know to snack on cashews or pistachios instead. A nice piece of Parmesan sometimes while making dinner.

    5 Replies
    1. re: gourmanda

      Same here for popcorn. I can eat way too much in one sitting.

      1. re: monavano

        And if it's Skinny Pop........yikes! When it's in the house I can not resist.

        1. re: gourmanda

          I've recently discovered popping with coconut oil and wow, my addiction is even stronger.

          1. re: monavano

            Interesting. I have not used coconut oil...does it taste very coconut-ty?

            1. re: gourmanda

              Funny - I'm reading this post whilst eating a bowl of popcorn cooked in Coconut oil. It definitely has an essence of coconut but is more reminiscent of movie theater. It actual adds so much flavor, that only a sprinkle of fine salt is needed.

    2. Roasted chickpeas. I like them well-salted, with a little smoked paprika and lemon zest.

      1. Nuts and sunflower seeds for me.

        1. I looovvee anything salty! I have very low blood pressure (hereditary) so i think its my body's way of regulating things- and i listen :)
          -Dill pickles, or those little cornichons
          - any kind of olives
          - dry roasted edamame
          - pretzel sticks (rold gold, the thin little ones)
          - giardinara pickled veggies
          - maldon smoked salt on raw veggies like cucumber slices
          - roasted salted nuts
          - popcorn with nutritional yeast
          - a mug of miso soup
          - pickled daikon from asian markets

          3 Replies
          1. re: Ttrockwood

            How do you do the dry roasted edamame? I would be all over that. I love edamame dipped in soy sauce mixed with a little garlic. I astonish servers in Japanese/sushi restaurants with how many bowls I can put away :)

            1. re: nothingswrong

              I love all edamame! I actually buy the dry roasted edamame- they're great since they're ok at room temp and good for snacks on the go. Ingredients: soybeans, salt.
              This pic is what i buy from seapoint farms.

              1. re: Ttrockwood

                Oh my, prepackaged even! I was thinking you were doing it from scratch. I'll bet those are addictive, will look for them, thanks!

          2. Smoked salmon, olives, cheese, hot chicken bouillon.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Jimisi

              Mmm, bouillon. That's the kind of salt I'm after!

            2. Pistachios or cheese. Yeah, that's pretty much it.

              We try not to have chips in the house save for poker games.... and then we may even get some crunchy cheetos.

              But not to have around all the time, no way José :-D

              1 Reply
              1. re: linguafood

                I bought a sack of ("single-serve") Cheetos last week for the first time in a long time and they are evil. When I open up a bag, I think: HOW in the hell is this a whole serving??

              2. For a quick gotta have it now fix, nuts. Otherwise, I love the saltyness of bleu cheese.

                1. Anchovies and saltines. Perhaps a Margarita.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: mudcat

                    +1 for the margarita!
                    I once had the bartender hand me mine salt-less (i had clearly said with salt)- that was the one and only time i have ever sent back a cocktail. No salt = not a margarita.
                    Oh, add bloody marys to the list, love a good celery salt rim there and sometimes pickled veggies or olive garnishes....

                  2. I just had a bowl of rotini ( I use what ever shape pasta is handy) topped with feta and capers. Really satisfies my salt-tooth.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: pedalfaster

                      I do rotini with EVOO, parmesan, and a bit of garlic salt; nice salt bomb. Yours sounds good, thanks for the idea!

                    2. Only salt will do most of the time for me. Luckily, my blood pressure seems okeydokey, so all good.
                      Parmesan is a big one for me, just shave off curls and eat. Prosciutto, popcorn, and the gut busting New York style pepperoni pie.
                      If I'm in a shopping mall, it's those butter dipped soft pretzels with the little thing of grody cheese dip.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: alliegator

                        My BP is really low, so a few years ago my docs ordered me on a high sodium diet. It took some getting used to, but now my taste buds are trained to crave massive amounts of salt. To the point where I got in the habit of eating sticky rice doused in soy sauce and sprinkled with Lawry's seasoning salt nearly every day as a snack (it is the saltiest thing I've ever eaten, but so delicious).

                        I love those soft pretzels! Am craving one now...

                      2. I also have a "salt tooth". As a teen mom used to yell at me for adding salt to frozen pizzas. :)
                        Crunchy spicy roasted chick peas.
                        Turkey pepperoni /hard salami
                        Cheese any kind its my weakness and my usual go to snack
                        Pickles spears
                        Kettle cooked salt and vinegar chips ( I haven't had in a while but I love them)
                        Pop corn with butter and soy sauce ( been a while too)
                        Salted Cashews.

                        1. I have a big salt tooth as well, and there are so many salty snacks that I crave, but my recent fix is ... Wheat Thins.

                          Close runner-ups incl. things like wasabi peas, yogurt pretzels, salted roasted nuts, and of course Taiwanese-style beef jerky.

                          But really, nowadays, if I want something salty, it's usually a box of Wheat Thins. A large box.

                          4 Replies
                            1. re: Veggo

                              I wouldn't touch the stuff without it.

                            2. re: ipsedixit

                              I like Triscuit thins, with all kinds of things salty and sweet - but the combo of toasted wheat and salt is better than chips for me.

                              1. re: julesrules

                                Yeah, I think it's something about wheat thins being a bit more substantial, texture-wise.

                            3. for me, cold cuts turkey or chicken. or roasted chicken or turkey breast with smoked salt sprinkled on.

                              back in the day, a cheddar/jack quesadilla...

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Emme

                                Good point, actually. A slice of rare roast beef can also be a nice salty snack....

                                1. re: Emme

                                  i forgot my favorite thing i eat every day… roasted seaweed… i get the individual snack packs from costco...

                                  1. re: Emme

                                    Oh! Yes!! I just bought the toasted nori snack packs from chinatown that have a soy sauce flavor....

                                2. Butter milk, potato chips, salt cured anchovies or kippers.

                                  1. Kale chips with lots of smoked salt are amazing. I also like popcorn with EVOO, kosher salt/garlic salt and some kind of Italian seasoning (recently I've been using Penzey's frozen pizza seasoning because I got two freebie bottles of it). If I just want an instantaneous salt fix, peanuts with shells. I only eat those at home because I like to suck the shells for the salty flavor before I eat the nuts, and it's not a process anyone else really needs to watch.

                                    1. I recently discovered Kim's Chicken Cracklings. Now THERE'S a salt fix!

                                      8 Replies
                                      1. re: Fydeaux

                                        Oh my, please tell us more. Sounds like a perfect combo of salt, chicken umami, and crunch.

                                        1. re: Jimisi


                                          Perfect, like crack!

                                          If you are at all familiar with gribnes [it's transliterated from Yiddish, so it probably has many different spellings], which are the bits of chicken skin and fat left from making schmaltz, this is about as close as you could possibly get in a package.

                                          1. re: Fydeaux

                                            Do you have to order them online or can you find them in stores? I don't think I've ever seen them but I WANT them NOW.

                                            1. re: linguafood

                                              I live in Milwaukee, and there is one southern grocery where I first saw them and now buy them [They are also a good local source for boudin]. I have never had them shipped. I do wish they came in a larger bag, but I'd probably down a 6 or 8 ounce bag in a sitting like I do a 2 ounce bag, and that couldnt possible be good.

                                              If you have an accomodating grocer near you, you might see if they could get some in. Or contact Kim's and see if they do business with anyone in your area.

                                                1. re: Fydeaux

                                                  I spoke too soon. I went over to the Delta Southern Grocery on Saturday to stock up only to discover that they were shutting down that day and were all out of the chicken cracklins. So until [or unless] I find another local source, it looks like I'll be investigating mail order also.

                                        2. on a good day - olives, parmigianno reggiano and sopressata

                                          on a bad day - jack links

                                          1. I'm currently hooked on Tostitos Cantina chips.
                                            Salty wonderousness.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: monavano

                                              Yes. I can eat those 'til my lips are all scratched up.

                                            2. Popcorn tossed with Tamari.

                                              1. Beef Jerky

                                                Dry Salami

                                                Melted Swiss Cheese

                                                Grandma Utz's Chips (the lard cooked ones) - bonus if there is a bowl of 1970s style French Onion Soup Mix Dip next to the bag.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: MGZ

                                                  Oh, I forgot about beef jerky. That's a great salty snack. Do you make your own, or buy a certain brand?

                                                  The best beef jerky I've ever had--which ruined me for all store-bought jerkies--was yeeeaaars ago from a Southern man my bf and I had struck up conversation with. He mentioned that he made homemade jerky, and asked if we wanted to try some. We said sure, followed him back to his apartment, and he opened up a giant GARBAGE BAG. Inside was pounds and pounds of the most tender and perfectly seasoned jerky you could imagine... I would trade a steak for some of that jerky any day.

                                                  Also +1 on the onion soup mix dip. So good with potato chips.

                                                  1. re: nothingswrong

                                                    "Do you make your own, or buy a certain brand?"

                                                    I'll make my own a few times a year - never enough to fill more than a Gallon-size Zip-Lock though. When I buy it, Wild Bill's Original is what I look for - especially the whole slices.

                                                2. Tamari almonds

                                                  Pickled white fish

                                                  Stuffed grape leaves

                                                  Grilled cheese and sauerkraut on rye (sort of a meatless reuben)

                                                  Cheese crackers

                                                  Bagel chips with some kind of cream cheese spread

                                                  Tortilla chips & guacamole

                                                  Savory lassi, or buttermilk with a squeeze of lime and a shot of tabasco (the tartness seems to satisfy my salt craving)

                                                    1. I'm a salt fiend.

                                                      cottage cheese with soy sauce
                                                      a glass of pickle juice
                                                      salted peanuts and pistachios
                                                      toast with butter and Vegemite
                                                      bacon sandwich
                                                      avocado with salt and pepper or soy sauce
                                                      cheese and dill pickle sandwich
                                                      popcorn with butter, soy sauce, nutritional yeast and black pepper
                                                      lemon wedge with salt
                                                      for the hard core salt lover, salted dried plums (saladitos). If that doesn't make your mouth pucker, I don't know what will.
                                                      cucumber, avocado and surimi salad with wasabi soy dressing
                                                      marinated feta cheese with olives
                                                      pickled eggs
                                                      sardines on saltines with mustard
                                                      thinly sliced prosciutto
                                                      hummus with pretzel crackers
                                                      V-8 juice (sometimes I'll pour a little on my cottage cheese)
                                                      beef jerky when it's around
                                                      shrimp cocktail
                                                      seriously roasted cauliflower pieces (the burnt bits are the best!)
                                                      cheese toast (even better with Vegemite and roasted tomatoes)
                                                      anything I can think of to put loads of fish sauce on like Vietnamese summer rolls or noodle salad

                                                      Hell, I'll do a shot of soy sauce if no one is around.

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: ChervilGeorge

                                                        I love it, I got thirsty just reading through that list.

                                                        "cheese and dill pickle sandwich"

                                                        This has been a favorite since childhood. Now I sometimes do them with cheese and pickled banana pepper rings, so good.

                                                        1. re: nothingswrong

                                                          Cheese and dill pickle sandwiches have always been good to me. A couple of times in the past, I lost my appetite due to stress and they were the only thing I would or could eat. And they'd be all I'd eat for days on end. For me, they are the ultimate comfort food. I'm partial to sharp cheddar and Claussen dills. I also love cheddar and Branston pickle sandwiches.

                                                          1. re: ChervilGeorge

                                                            Sharp cheddar and Claussen dills, A+, perfect sandwich. I too think of it as comfort food and will eat them when nothing else seems appetizing.

                                                            I might have one for dinner tonight!

                                                      2. Pickles (and then I guzzle the juice when no one is looking ;) and I've been known to eat salted lemon wedges.

                                                        1. I'm not much of a salt head but, I'll go nuts with salt on garden fresh tomatoes.

                                                          I went to Florida about a week ago and stayed at an ocean-side resort and attended a "Beer N Bacon" festival and got my hands on some bacon salt. You gotta try it (the bacon salt, that is).

                                                            1. Marmite tastes somewhat like fermented salt to me.

                                                              8 Replies
                                                              1. re: chowser

                                                                I've been so curious about Marmite or Vegemite for years now but I just know in my fermented-hating-soul that I would loathe it. Still going to buy a jar and give it a try though.

                                                                1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                  I like marmite I just never know what to do with it. It seems it's commonly used on toast, but I don't eat much bread. I have tried it in a stir fry which was very good.

                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                    "Ohh, have some bread. Just this once. . . . It's really, REALLY good bread. You're gonna love it - I know it!"

                                                                      1. re: MGZ

                                                                        Thanks for the chuckle!! I first read that and was on the edge of rage (thoughts of: I'm so sick of this, why do they always have to push food on me I clearly stated I don't eat very often), but then my memory kicked in :)

                                                                      2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                        On buttered toast does seem to be a favourite, or in sandwiches but that won't help a non bread eater. Make a sauce of marmite and butter then poor it over the pasta along with some parmigiana. A delicious quick meal when you have no food in the house.

                                                                        It's also great to add a spoonful to beef stew, shepherd's pie or a meat ragu during cooking. Slather a butter and marmite paste over your chicken before roasting - mmmmm. A little smear on lamb chops before searing is a nice touch. It's great in a brown gravy.

                                                                        I'm one of the few people that like both Vegemite and Marmite but Vegemite is the winner if I have to choose.

                                                                        1. re: ChervilGeorge

                                                                          The marmite and butter combination is great especially with mushrooms. I love that chicken idea!! I've never tried Vegemite, I guess I should some day.

                                                                        2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                          Yes, I really don't know of any use for it where it's prominently featured aside from slathered on toast.

                                                                          My brother just married an Australian woman and he's horrified by the Vegemite in the house. He'll eat just about anything, but he can't get into it.

                                                                    1. Macadamia nuts and cashews, roasted and salted... Pistachios, too.

                                                                      Olives, salty cheeses, miso cup soups, half sour pickles.

                                                                      1. A friend swears by olive and anchovy pizza.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: julesrules

                                                                          Yannow, I love me some anchovies, have even eaten anchovy paste right out of the tube, but pizza is the one thing I never could stand them on.

                                                                          "I'll have some anchovies; hold the pizza!"

                                                                        2. I like salted sunflower and roasted sunflower seeds. I also like a mix or raw and smoked/salted almonds. I shake the excess salt off the smokehouse ones, and mix with the plain. I am a little leary of consuming too much salt. But I do love the salted nuts.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: sueatmo

                                                                            Sunflower seeds are a great salty snack. So are roasted pepitas; haven't had those in ages!

                                                                          2. Tajin fruit seasoning. First with whatever fruit I'm eating, then with whatever's wet enough for it to stick to, and then I realize it's not the fruit/veggie I want but just the seasoning. That's when I just pour it from bottle to palm to mouth and let it dissolve on my tongue.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: seamunky

                                                                              That reminds me of a Taiwanese salt powder that we put on fruit when I was growing up. I haven't had it in years but it brings back memories.

                                                                            2. Historically it's been potato chips but that was only because they were cheaper than roasted peanuts.
                                                                              Lately my experiments with ramen and fermented veggies have been filling the void.

                                                                              1. Salt.
                                                                                Right out of the tin.
                                                                                One fingertip-full at a time.

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                                                                  That certainly cuts out the middleman.

                                                                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                    There are so many "gourmet" salts available now! The best way to get their individual characteristics -- at least initially-- is unadulterated.

                                                                                    There was a restaurant in Beijing called SALT lead by a great chef from Argentina. Each table had a tray of three salts, usuall a black "log shaped" volcanic, a granulized crunchy red, and a grey flaked.

                                                                                2. Any and all types of kimichi.
                                                                                  I drink kimichi brine daily as a cure all for hunger, nausea, headaches, hangovers, low blood pressure, digestive health, colds, etc... I ALWAYS have homemade mul(water) kimichi brine available for my salt tooth needs

                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: ajk11

                                                                                    Interesting. I don't enjoy the taste of kimchi at all, but it's good that it serves so many functions for you. I feel similarly about balsamic vinegar.

                                                                                    1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                      what's great about kimichi is that there are SO MANY varieties. there's the typical spicy cabbage kimichi but it could also be made with pears, cucumbers, radish, garlic stems, bok choy...list goes on. i've even made a non spicy one out of chayotes and broccolini. there might be one that's right for u

                                                                                      1. re: ajk11

                                                                                        I didn't know. I'm not really a fan of Korean cuisine, but I think it's the cabbage that gets me. I've never liked it in any preparation. Maybe I will try it with something else. Thanks.

                                                                                  2. I found another one at the supermarket today. Junky heaven in a little bag. Planters Snack Mix in bold flavor. Chex, pretzels, peanuts, sesame sticks and little bagel chips with lots of salty spice mix. So good, but now I need about a gallon of cold water. Near the Chex mix and that stuff.

                                                                                    1. I too am a saltaholic, always have been, but I know why. Salt lovers should have their doctors check for adrenal insufficiency, aka Addison's Disease. It can kill you if ignored.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: oldusedcop

                                                                                        I have been tested and am okay. I do have something called POTS, and was put on a high sodium diet several years ago to keep my blood pressure up. I think my palate has adapted (and then some!) because I am so crazy into salty everything now, especially given that I grew up in a virtually salt-free home.

                                                                                        I'm loving all the ideas on this thread.

                                                                                      2. I reach for a lime instead. It's the new salt.

                                                                                        And smoked paprika is the next new salt.

                                                                                        1 Reply