Rachel Achmad

Gourmet Salt at Cellar Savings: Supermarket Savvy


While at a friend’s house recently, I admired a package of gourmet salts. They were beautiful, ranging in color from pink to black, and they looked expensive. I’ve only had, at most, three salts in my kitchen (table, sea and kosher), so I had to find out more.


It turns out, gourmet salts are one of the top food trends for 2012. Specialty salts now appear regularly on chocolates (I admit a passion for salted caramel myself), in ice cream, and are listed on restaurant menus as featured ingredients. I questioned my salt aficionado friend, and he explained that different salts impart different flavors. Some he sprinkles over nuts, some he rubs into meats before grilling, some are good for sprinkling on chocolate icings, and some he’ll even nibble plain.


But this is a savvy column — so how can we find these salts for less than the $128/pound they sometimes sell for? Well, my friend scours the home goods sections of stores like TJ Maxx and Marshall’s as well as the cooking areas of craft stores to get some great deals. The shelf life on unopened containers of these gourmet salts is five years, so unlike other food items, it doesn’t matter if you have to brush a little dust off the containers. Other good sources are clearance racks at specialty food stores, and Ebay. The main thing is to check that the label says “unrefined.”  Refining the salt removes the minerals and oils that make it unique and special. And that’s a tip that’s worth its salt.





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