The days of tossing a pinch of iodized salt into a pot when you’re making pasta or searing meat are done. Instead, high-end salts, in a variety of flavors, like rose, truffle, licorice, and lemon, can make the difference between a basic meal and a seriously flavorful one.
“Investing in high-end salts and using them as ‘finishing salts’ is a great idea,” says Joe Anthony, chef de cuisine of Gabriel Kreuther, a Michelin-starred restaurant in New York City. “Simply sprinkle a pinch over your food right before serving. And don’t be afraid to think outside the box. You can—and should—use your fancy salts for fruits and even sweet treats.”
And salts come in a wide variety of textures, flavors, and food pairings. “For example,” Anthony says, “we use pink salt to cure, kosher salt during the cooking process, and fleur de sel or sea salt to complete dishes.”
FLEUR DE SEL
This salt, known as “flower of salt” in French, is a delicate salt variety that’s made of naturally formed crystals of solar evaporated sea salt.
“Fleur de sel is fantastic on anything from fish to pork to cooked vegetables and, even, toast and butter,” says Mark Bitterman, founder of Bitterman Salt Co.; author of Salted, a James Beard Award-winning book; and the founder of The Meadow—a boutique that specializes in finishing salts in Portland, Ore.; New York City; and Tokyo. “This is the style of salt that I use for everyday cooking. It’s great on my morning scrambled eggs. I consider this to be the ultimate multipurpose salt.”