I used to think that all salts are created equal until one day, my father interrupted my meal to add a dash of Himalayan Pink sea salt on my Lemon Tuna Penne Pasta. Not only did it do wonders for the taste, the pink hue and crystal-like fragments would’ve been totally Instagram-worthy.
Today, we’re enjoying an influx of artisanal salts as the ingredient has moved from the back of food labels to the front. From exotic locations around the world, these specialty salts—a.k.a. finishing salts—offer unique flavors at different levels of crunch to enhance our meals. Much like fine jewellery, they are the perfect finishing touch to our gourmet food.
Here, we show five of our favorite artisanal salts available at your local supermarket.
1. Viking Smoked Salt is produced in Denmark by way of an ancient Scandinavian tradition where the salt is smoked over five different woods: Juniper, Elm, Cherry, Beech and Oak.
Use: Flavor is suitable for salmon, stew, savory tarts, quiche, corn chowder and mashed potatoes.
Casale Paradiso Sale Vichingo Affumicato, P515 / 150g, Rustan’s Supermarket
2. Indian Black Salt is a volcanic rock salt of Himalayan-Indian origin. It’s actually pinkish grey in color and has a distinctive sulfurous taste—almost like hard-boiled egg yolk.
Use: It is used in Indian cuisine as condiment added to fruit glazes, chutneys, salads and raitas (which is plain yogurt with cucumbers and tomato).
Casale Paradiso Sale Indiano Kala Namak, P364 / 140g, Rustan’s Supermarket
3. Himalayan Pink Salt gets its pink speckled color from the natural richness derived from iron and other minerals. It is a natural rock salt collected by craftsmen inside the Khewra Salt Mines, the second largest salt mine in the world, located in Punjab, Pakistan, about 300 km from the Himalayas.
Use: It can be used to substitute common salt to give a special twist to white meat recipes such as chicken or fish, and for flavoring soups and vegetables.
Himalania Rock Pink Salt, P979 / 198g, Rustan’s Supermarket
4. Truffle Crystal Salt has a pyramid shape, which is a result of the unique process the mineral went through in Cyprus. Highly prized truffles are delicately blended with the salt to bring rich, earthy flavor to your meals.
Use: It is great for risotto, salads and vegetables.
Casale Paradiso Cristalli Di Sale Al Tartufo, P635 / 60g, Rustan’s Supermarket
5. Black Cyprus Salt is harvested from the waters off the Mediterranean island of Cyprus and then blended with a natural black color (carbon black).
Use: It is a slightly less intense salt used for its visual impact on food particularly white fish, potatoes, eggs, soups, spice blends, salads and meats. It can be used as a drink rimmer, as well.
Saxa Natural Black Cyprus Salt, P359 / 50g, Rustan’s Supermarket
Photos by Yayay de Castro