My first memorable encounter with flavored salt came when tasting my wedding menu with my caterer Charlotte. We tasted something like 3 different starters, 5 entrées, and all kinds of little bites in her cozy Parisian apartment off of Rue Cler. Somewhere between the burrata and the lamb, she pointed at a teeny wooden bowl, pinched her fingers and sprinkled the flaky salt in my palm. “Lime salt,” she said, “I’m thinking of using it in something.” I licked my hand and the zesty, sharp citrus flavor hit my tongue like pop rocks. “Yum!” I exclaimed.
Charlotte didn’t end up using it in any of the recipes for the wedding, but the exotic lime salt really stuck with me.
When stopping at a roadside fish and chips truck on our second day in Iceland, I was drawn to the various vinegars, sauces and toppings displayed so purposefully on the wooden picnic table. There, between the bottles, were three pots of what looked like different kinds of salts. The owner, a very friendly woman named Mia, shared each flavor with us: lemon, basil, and oregano, and said the salt was an Icelandic tradition made locally. Jon and I were obsessed with the lemon salt, dumping it all over our double fried potatoes and licking the tips of our fingers to pick up the last delicious crystals. I knew I had to pick some up and use it as an unexpected addition to homemade meals.
In the few hours before we left Reykjavík for home, I searched through all the gift shops looking for lemon salt. They had several different brands and flavors like lava, chili, mixed herb, and others, but not the simple one I wanted. I resigned that I would try to find the salt online at home.
If the label says flavored salt, I’m sold, so right now I’m eating tortilla chips with lime salt (they’re just as good as they sound). And a quick Google has revealed that lemon salt isn’t really a thing to purchase, but rather an easy thing you can make at home. GASP! In fact, you can make whatever kind of flavored salt your heart desires in your own kitchen without a whole lot of effort.
Here are a couple of the best recipes I found:
– How to Make Flavored Salt – a general recipe for mixing flavors
– Lazy Citrus Salt – a simple way to use the citrus in your fridge
– Exotic flavored Salts – from the southern magazine Country Living
– Lemon and Thyme Salt – which looks so good and probably tastes better
I guess I just figured out what I’ll be doing this weekend! But first I’m going to sit down because I think I overdid it with the lime chips…
Check out Iceland’s hand harvested, sustainable sea salt: Saltverk. Do you have any favorite toppings or condiments you’ve found abroad and brought back home?
Photos by Salt & Ritual.