This winter I attended a unique event: a salt tasting. This fun event was hosted by Bazaar Spices, which has two locations in Washington, D.C. You can either attend one of Bazaar Spices’ official events or you can host your own salt tasting at home.
A pinch of salt can change a dish and, like wine, can be paired with certain foods. To host a tasting, you’ll need bland foods, such as white bread and a plain salad (with olive oil), to eat with the various salts. Most-likely your guests will be thirsty and needing water as well. Here’s what my plate looked like half way through the tasting (I kept filling up on the bread and salad):
Line up all the salts you would like to try. Pictured in the featured image are all the salts that we had during our tasting in the following order: Sonoma Sea Salt, Himalayan Pink Salt, Hawaiian Alea, Black Lava Sea Salt, Sriracha Salt, Habanero Sea Salt, Applewood Smoked Sea Salt, and Maine Cherrywood Smoked.
Sonoma Sea Salt is a great replacement for your standard table salt. Himalayan Pink Salt was one of my favorites, of course, and is a high quality salt containing many minerals. Pair this salt with something delicate in flavor as it is also subtle in flavor. The Himalayan Pink Salt is another table salt option.
Hawaiian Alea salt has been mixed with red alae volcanic clay, creating the brownish tone. This salt is rich, sweet and salty, making it great for brines, grilled seafood and vegetables. Black Lava Sea Salt is blended with activated charcoal and “makes a unique statement as a finishing salt for any dish.”
Sriracha Salt is created by blending the salt with Sriracha while the Habanero Sea Salt is created by infusing the salt with the chili. Habanero Sea Salt “has a hot, citrusy, and fruity flavor this salt is a great as a finishing salt for many things. We especially like to use them on french fries.”
Applewood Smoked Sea Salt “can be described as mild, fruity, and smokey, and is milder than the popular hickory wood smoked sea salt. It is extremely versatile and can be used on just about any dish. It is especially good on steaks and other meats.” Maine Cherrywood Salt is a little sweet and goes well with fruits and soups. “Pure sea salt is slowly smoked above a Maine cherry wood fire-a centuries old process. This salt is 100% natural, with no artificial flavors or additives.”
I learned some great tips regarding both salts and spices. When you purchase a spice, make sure to add a sticker to the packaging with the date of purchase. Throw away any spices that are dated more than a year prior. Tightly seal all of your spices and store them in a cool, dark place away from moisture. Do not store your spices in the freezer. When possible, it’s best to purchase whole spices instead of ground because they will stay fresher longer.
All of the smoked salts sold at Bazaar Spices are cooked naturally. Many of their spices are locally sourced and/or organic.