By Rob Corliss
April 26, 2022
Foodservice operators are well-versed in the importance of engaging guests through storytelling, understanding that emotional connections are forged when the menu narrative resonates. Salts have a great story to share, from their geographical source to the harvesting and processing methods to the flavor messaging. Chefs can tap into all facets of why a particular salt was selected to flavor a menu item, mirroring similar strategies they have applied in telling the story behind various chile varieties, for example.
Here are four leading salts that not only have an engaging provenance, but provide a tremendous flavor narrative to differentiate a menu.
- 1MALDON SALT
A British sea salt, hand-harvested by four generations of family salt masters since 1882. Its iconic pyramid shaped soft-crunchy flakes provide exemplary tactile texture and big yet delicate flavor. Use as a finishing salt.
- Salted Bistro Beef & Potato: Whipped potato + red wine-braised beef short rib (pulled chunks) + herbed sweet butter + Maldon salt crunch sprinkle
- 2FLEUR DE SEL
A French sea salt standout, known as “the caviar of salts.” Unique in that it is gently hand-harvested during pristine “blooming” conditions, by skimming the top of salt ponds for the purest crystals above the top layer. Use as a finishing salt.
- French Onion Filet: French onion soup purée + toasted Gruyère brioche round + pan- seared filet mignon + fleur de sel sprinkle
- 3PINK HIMALAYAN SALT
A mineral/rock salt from ancient sea beds over hundreds of millions’ years old that is mined near the Himalayas in Pakistan, pink Himalayan salt has pure, clean flavor and striking color. Its flavor and versatility make it revered by chefs. Use while cooking or as a finishing salt.
- Orange Pork Bao: Steamed bun + orange sticky sauce + pink Himalayan salt crust-roasted pork belly + Serrano chile slices + quick-pickled green mango
- 4HAWAIIAN RED SALT
A mineral-rich Hawaiian sea salt with distinctive natural red color (from volcanic red alaea clay), yielding a subtle earthy flavor and crunchy texture. Bring an authentic taste of Hawaii to any dish. Use as a finishing salt.
- Hawaiian Al Pastor Tacos: Roasted pork shoulder (achiote paste/garlic/guava juice) + charred pineapple-macadamia salsa + Hawaiian red clay salt sprinkle + flour tortilla
From the July/August 2022 issue of Flavor & The Menu, for chefs and menu developers. Read full issue online.