Best Salt for...
Sel gris is great, and can be the only salt you need for your entire pantry: High in minerals, it comes from the pristine environment of the Atlantic coast of France, and it tastes great. But its crystals are kind of coarse and hard to manipulate. It can be ground with a mortar and pestle; it’s also sold pre-ground as fine French or Atlantic sea salt or fine sel de geurande. Another option is the traditional salt called Trapani from Sicily. It’s got good street cred—it’s hand-harvested from salt ponds that have been in use since Phoenician times. It’s inexpensive and commonly available, but it’s a bit blah; I don’t use it. My favorite is the Meadow’s fleur de sel which took me many years to develop. I located a producer in Guatemala who makes it inexpensively enough that I can sell it in big bags and (to restaurants) 20-pound tubs as both a cooking salt and a finishing salt. That one’s money. You plunge your fingers in this big pile of moist, heavy, glistening salt and you feel like a millionaire.
I like to make a salad dressing with little to no salt, dress the salad, serve it, then fling a coarse salt on top. A flake salt in particular will give it a crazy lacework of crystals. When you take a bite, a little snap, crackle and pop bursts across your palate and then vanishes to let the vegetables step forward.
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Fleur de sel has a nice creaminess and gives the fish a beautifully delicate, persistent saltiness.