All salts are not created equal! As most cooks know, using sea salt rather than iodized or kosher salt adds more flavor to a dish. Sea salts, however, come in a variety of flavors and colors. Experiment with different salts in your recipes and see what happens. For best results, many of these salts should be sprinkled lastly on a dish like a garnish. Sea salt is a product of the minerals found in the seawater where it is harvested. Most coastal countries produce sea salt of some kind and there are dozens of varieties waiting to be tasted. Here are my favorite places to buy gourmet salts.
My favorite place for gourmet salts! Highly recommended. The Spice Lab has an astounding assortment of gourmet salts (over 130!): wonderful sea salts like Hawaiian Red Alaea, Lake Grassmere Sea Salt from New Zealand, Cyprus Black Lava Finishing Sea Salt, Qab-nab Taab Sea Salt from El Salvador; smoked salts like Bourbon Smoked Sea Salt from Kentucky, Hawaiian Tiki Smoked Guava Wood Sea Salt, Viking Oak Smoked Sea Salt from Denmark; flavored salts like Asian Thai Ginger Salt, Coconut Garam Masala Sea Salt, Bourbon Vanilla Bean Sea Salt. Spice Lab also a great assortment of salt tools: salt dip spoons, cellars, and grinders. Everything is very resonably priced and shipping is free on orders over $15.00.
This Seattle company boasts to being the largest gourmet sea salt company in the U.S. with over 30 varieties of salt, each with various grain sizes. Their salts are bought directly from farmers who hand-harvest the salt using traditional methods. Highlights: Hawaiian Red Sea Salt, Fleur de Sel, Sel Gris (gray salt), Cyprus Flake, Flower of Bali, Smoked Salts, Murray River (Australia), Andes Desert Salt, and much more.
Salt Traders have a wonderful assortment of unique sea salts from around the world. Some of my favorites include: Japanese Nazuna Sea Salt, Danish Viking-Smoked Sea Salt, Bali Sea Salt (comes in a coconut!), and Peruvian Pink Salt. Salt Traders also carries a great collection of blended salts like truffle salt, saffron salt, Sel Gris with Seaweed, Flor de Sal Hibiscus (with hibiscus, herbs, and black olive), and much more.
One of my favorite places for buying gourmet ingredients, ChefShop has a good collection of artisan sea salts. Anglesey Vanilla Sea Salt (Wales), Murray River Pink Sea Salt (Australia), Hawaiian Sea Salt, Sel Gris with Herbs, Fleur de Sel, more.
Another one of my favorite food shops, igourmet.com has a huge selection of interesting sea salts. Some the highlights include: Cyprus Black Lava Flake Salt, Andes Mountain Salt, Balinese Coconut & Lime Smoked Salt, Hawaiian Red Salt, Japanese Sea Salt with Matcha, Jurassic Sea Salt (Utah), Maldon Sea Salt (England), Fleur de Sel, and more.
Wonderful Portland, Oregon company with over 50 finishing salts from around the world. They have some great obscure selections like Okinawa Snow, Taha'a Vanilla Flake, Bengal Blue, and Turkish Black Pyramid. Be sure to check out "The Meadow"'s salt blog at www.saltnews.com
, full of fascinating stuff about artisan salts.
One of my favorite gourmet shops, Earthy Delights has a nice assortment of sea salts from around the world. Smoked Sea Salts, Hawaiian Red Salt, Fleur de Sel, and several blended salts with various herbs.
Maine Sea Salt Company makes some of the best smoked salts I've ever tasted! Just amazing! These guys harvest their salt directly from the sea off the coast of Maine, then smoke the salt using natural methods and one of four woods: Alder, Apple, Hickory, or Mesquite. You can also buy their salt unsmoked or seasoned such as Lemon Sea Salt or Sea Salt with Seaweed. Good stuff!
Small but tasty collection of salts. Fleur de Sel, Himalayan Pink Salt, Casina Rosa Truffle Salt, Hawaiian Pink Salt, Murray River, more.
This gourmet shop in Seattle has a small but delightful assortment of gourmet salts. Casina Rosa Sweet & Salt (with dried fruit and spices), Casina Rosa Sea & Salt (with dried tuna and herbs), truffle salt, and various herb salts.
Good selection of gourmet salts: Fleur de Sel, Murray River Salt, Smoked Viking Sea Salt, White Truffle Salt, Herbed Salts, more.