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Read the full blog entry from Rosa's Yummy Yums

Salt and seasonings are my big addiction. I would not be able to live without them as I cannot imagine enjoying a chow that is awfully bland, lacks soul or oomph. My taste buds need to be constantly challenged, otherwise the fanciful eater that I am gets terribly frustrated.

Pungent spice blends are heavenly and elevate cooking to another level. That is exactly what flavored salts do. They are so versatile and can spruce up just about anything, thus they have the power to completely transform a recipe. The perfect addition to your kitchen pantry and a great gift for any occasion.

Nowadays, you can purchase them from any deli, supermarket, corner store and market merchant. They might not be a rarity, but generally bought flavored salts are quite expensive. It is the reason why I highly recommend you to prepare them at home as they cost a lot less and you can let your imagination go wild (no limitations) as well as have buckets full of fun during the process.

In order to facilitate your task, I have gathered some useful information and tips that might come in handy when developing your own formulas...

Which Salts To Choose:
Coarse or fine sea salts - preferably unrefined (grey) -  as well as gourmet rock salts such as sel de Guérande, Himalyan Salt, Hawaiian Salt, Murray River Salt, Persian Blue Salt, Kala Namak, etc... And why not go for a smoked salt too!
For more information check out this salt glossary.

Which seasonings to employ:
. Dried herbs (curry leaves, rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, sage, lemongrass, keffir lime leaves, etc...)
. Whole or powdered spices, lightly toasted or not (cumin, coriander, saffron, vanilla, five spice, garam massala, curry, smoked paprika, allspice, mustard, wasabi, celery, onion powder, garlic powder, etc...).
. Dried mushrooms, ground (porcini, truffle, shiitake, morels, etc...)
. Toasted nuts, chopped finely (almonds, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, walnuts, etc...)
. Toasted seeds, chopped finely, if necessary (pumpkin, sesame, poppy seeds, sunflower, etc...)
. Grated zests, dried (orange, lime, lemon, tangerine, kumquat, etc...)
. Dried fruits, chopped (coconut, dried tomatoes, goji berries, etc...)
. Dried edible flowers, whole or petals, ground, chopped or entire (rose, dandelion, lavender, pansies, tulips, violets, geraniums, etc...)
. Miscellanous (coarsely ground popcorn, vinegar powder, dried & finely chopped seaweed, ground cocoa, ground coffee, tea, squid ink, etc...).

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In which ratio:
1/4 cup seasonings to 3/4 cup salt.
Nonetheless, you can play around with the concentration of aromas, according to your personal taste.

Which method for combining the ingredients:
In a food processor or blender, combine all ingredients (certain ingredients such as nuts, seeds and flowers can be added once the salt has been blended) and give a few pulses, until thoroughly mixed. This will result in a fine mixture.
Some people like coarse-textured flavored salts. If it's your case, ensure yourself that the aromatic components have been chopped/pounded as finely as possible and then just combine all the ingredients by hand.

Which is the best use for flavored salts:
Sprinkle on chips, potato wedges/fries, salads, steamed vegetables, pasta, meat, seafood, over soups, in sandwiches or incorporate to spreads, dips, sauces and dressings.

Delightful combinations:
. Herb salts - poultry, fish, beef, veal, pork, lamb, rubs, vegetables, soups, stews, braises, stuffings, breads, eggs, rice, pasta, dipping oils, dressings and dips.
. Spicy salts -  beef, veal pork, poultry, fish, eggs, rice, popcorn, soups, stews, rubs, pasta, potatoes, sauces, couscous, dips, dressings and dipping oils.
. Mushroom salt - beef, veal pork, poultry, eggs, rice, popcorn, soups, pasta, potatoes, cream sauces and dipping oils.
. Nutty salts - vegetables, breads, rice, soups, dips and salad dressings.
. Seedy salts - vegetables, breads, soups, dips and salad dressings.
. Citrus salts  - fish, seafood, chicken, potatoes, rice, pasta and salad dressings.
. Fruit salts - tagines, couscous, Middle Eastern dishes, poultry, beef, veal, pork, lamb and rice.
. Floral salts -  vegtables, dressings, dips, beef, chicken, pork, lamb, veal, rice and soups.

Recipes Around The Web:
Indian Spicy Salt by Todd's Blog
Jamie Oliver's Flavoured Salts by The Purple Foodie
Lemon Fennel Chili Flavored Salt by Syrie Wongkaew
Seasoned Salt by Diana Rattray
Smoky Spiced Salt With Orange by The LA Times
Spiced Porcini Mushroom Salt by Gilt Taste
Spiced Salt by Food & Wine
Spiced Salt by The New York Times
Virgin Islands Spiced Salt by The Spice House

Photo courtesy of Rosa Mayland Photography.

Author's Bio

rosabioRosa Mayland, the creator of Rosa’s Yummy Yums, lives in a small Geneva countryside village situated in the French speaking part of Switzerland - a few meters away from the French border. She’s an Anglo-Swiss food enthusiast who loves photography, loud rock or electronic music, walks in the countryside, meeting interesting people, cats, books and independent films. When she’s not writing for her blog, you’ll also find her over at The Rambling Epicure, a daily international food chronicle and online newspaper to which she contributes as a freelance writer.

As you can imagine, she is very passionate about cooking/baking and can spend hours surfing the net for inspiration, reading blogs, creating dishes, testing new recipes or going through cookbooks and magazines. She is crazy about flavorful and soul-uplifting grubs, spices and yummy textures, therefore she’s particularly fond of Asian, Caribbean, Mediterranean, South American, Middle Eastern delights as well as regional and traditional specialities!

Rosa has kindly agreed to let us post some of the recipes from her blog on knowitall.ch.  Each month we will feature a new dish from her site, but due to space limitations we will only publish the recipes listed in each blog entry. However, you MUST click on the link provided with each recipe to read for yourself the inspiration behind each of the dishes prepared by Rosa and to see the wonderful collection of photos accompanying each dish.  Many of these photos have been taken at locations in and around Geneva - see if you can work out where they have been taken!