Buy salt at Mayer's Spice Shop
If you are looking for an unusual salt, Mayer's Spice Shop is the right place for you. You can buy a wide range of sea salt, rock salt, crystal salt or spiced salt from us.
Since salt is not of plant origin, it is not a spice. Nevertheless, it is indispensable in the kitchen. Salt enhances the flavour of food and is used like a spice. There are hundreds of salts on earth, some with interesting historical backgrounds as far as extraction and processing are concerned.
How do you distinguish salt?
Salts can be distinguished according to various criteria. One main distinguishing feature is the origin.
The second distinguishing feature is the texture of the salt. Crystalline, hard salt is mostly produced for use in salt mills. Crushed salt is popular for cooking water and for coarse seasoning, as it dissolves and spreads quickly in liquid.
The third distinguishing feature is the degree of processing. Natural salts have nothing added. Industrial salts often contain additives such as iodine or fluorine for medicinal reasons or anti-caking agents to keep the salt spreadable even when damp. Seasoned salts are salts flavoured with other spices that contain at least 40% salt. The mixtures are designed in such a way that additional salting is not necessary.
Sea salt, as the name suggests, comes from the sea. There it is dissolved in water and must first be separated from it. In most cases, salt pans are used for this purpose. These basins, which are separated from the sea, are flooded with seawater in the first step. In the shallow basins with their large surface area, the water evaporates and the salt concentration of the remaining water increases. Slowly, small islands of salt form on the surface, which are the first to be skimmed off - the coveted and finely flaked fleur de sel. From the salt that settles on the bottom, the first step is to produce a salt that contains numerous suspended substances from the sea and also tastes like them. The best known of these salts is the French Sel Gris. The final stage is a completely dried and purified salt, the conventional sea salt. To achieve a homogeneous grain size, it is in many cases sieved several times or finely ground.
Rock salt and crystal salt
Rock or crystal salt comes from mines or underground quarrying. Strictly speaking, rock salt was also once sea salt. Over millions of years, the salt deposited on the bottom of dried-up seas or inland lakes has piled up into mountains or moved inland and is now mined mechanically or extracted in brine salt works. The largest mining area in the world is the Pakistani Salt Range from which the pink Punjab crystal salt comes.
Spring salt is rock salt that is usually washed out of the rock from underground sources. At the point of exit, it is extracted by evaporation in salt pans, as is the case with sea salt. A beautiful example of this method of extraction, which has been practised for hundreds of years in some cases, is the pink Inca salt from the Peruvian Andes.
Salt flakes are available in moist (Fleur de Sel) or dry (e.g. pyramid salt) form. These are finger salts that are added to food as a finish to create a special mouthfeel in addition to the salty taste. The texture is crucial here. Salt flakes are fragile and quickly soluble in water. If they are sprinkled on a dish, they do not dissolve completely and you can feel the crunchy flakes on your tongue.
In addition to the addition of spices, salts can be drizzled with oil (e.g. truffle salt), refined with fresh lemon zest (e.g. lemon salt) or smoked over wood. Beech wood, which is typical for smoking in Central and Northern Europe, gives trout and bacon their typical aroma. The same aroma can be added to any dish with the medium smoked Danish Smoked Salt or the strong smoked beech salt.