Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Quick Guide To Buying Sea Salts

Welcome all sea salt lovers and chefs alike! Stephen Sharp founder and CEO of Florida Herb House is here to share his expertise on getting to know the basic varieties of sea salt. Florida Herb House is a leading retailer of over 100 all natural and organic sea salts. These salts are used for decorating, finishing, and flavoring various culinary dishes as well as setting up for a truly envigorating night time bath. Now let's join Stephen as he takes us on a tour of the wonderful world of sea salts.

"Sea salt, sea salt, by the sea shore." Not only is that a tongue twister but it is a fact. Yes sea salt is just that, salt harvested from the sea. So what's the big hype about this right? Table salt is the same right? NO!!! Table salt for one is derived from underground salt mines. It is then refined and blended with calcium silicate which is an anti-caking agent.

Sea salt is harvested from evaporated seawater and receives little or no processing, leaving intact the minerals from the water it came from. These minerals flavor and color the salt slightly. However, because these salts are usually expensive, it is worth keeping in mind that they lose their unique flavor when cooked and this is why top chefs add their choice of sea salt (depending on the recipe) usually towards the end of the cooking process.

Stephen also states, "All of our sea salts with the exception of our smoked salts are certified Kosher. This is a huge selling point to all our customers and I think that is why we are a top retailer of sea salt. Kosher salt takes its name from its use in the koshering process. It contains no preservatives and can be derived from either seawater or underground sources. Aside from being a great salt to keep within arm's reach when you are cooking, it is particularly useful in preserving, because its large crystals draw moisture out of meats and other foods more effectively than other salts."

Basically there a five groups of sea salt. These are the finishing, cooking, grinder and mill, smoked, and bath salts. Visit us online at or to see all of our available sea salts.

Finishing sea salts are just that, they are premium high end specialty salts. They are harvested mostly by hand from exotic locations around the globe and are known for their unique textures. The various finishing salt textures provide a strong crunch and dissolve quickly, giving you a burst of clean, mild salty flavor with each bite. These salts bring out the depth of natural flavors of any dish, and also add to a beautiful tableside presentation. The various colors and flakes of finishing salts make gorgeous garnishes for every meal. Our best selling finishing sea salt is the Cyprus Flake and the Cyprus Black Lava salt.

Cooking sea salts are similar to finishing sea salts but are more resilient with regard to losing their flavor while being heated. A great choice for a truly spectacular cooking sea salt is our Fleur De Sel or Sel Gris salt.

Grinder and mill sea salts are the coarser variety of salt that is perfect for your favorite salt mill. Our favorite salt for a salt mill is the Alea Hawaiian or Black Hawaiian salt.

Smoked sea salts are a special treat. When you are considering a smoked sea salt, make sure that it is a naturally smoked salt, and hasn’t just had liquid smoke flavoring added as this can create a bitter taste. Stephen states "All of our smoked sea salts are smoked over real wood fires which gives the salt crystals a true natural smoked flavor. These salts are great on chicken, fish, and salads or any roast. Our most popular smoked sea salts are the Bali Smoked, and Dulse Applewood salts. Oh yeah we also have a full line of naturally flavored Fusion Sea Salts which are truly great."

Bath salts make an ordinary bath feel more like a spa in many ways. When people think bath salt they usually think of "Dead Sea Salt", "Pink Himalayan", or the standard Epsom Salt. Funny though Epsom Salt is not a true salt but a mixture of natural magnesium and sulfate that comes from a pure spring in Epsom, England. Whatever your choice a hot bath with your favorite bath salt is very soothing and relaxing.

Cooking with different types of sea salt and expermimenting on various dishes is not only fun but healthy! Have a happy and healthy day!!

Special thanks to:

Stephen Sharp