A fellow said the other day at the shop, “you sell quite a variety of salt” as he stood at the check-out counter while I wrapped his gifts. Why yes we do, I thought. Life is too short to use bad salt, was my other thought. I also, am asked often by customers, what salt we use at home. 2 we sell, the other is a grocery store staple. We have 3 little vintage glass bowls that I keep filled with each variety that is on an open shelf within arms reach of the stove. This allows us to easily access the salt while we are cooking.
The grocery store variety is coarse kosher salt. This is a super fine salt. This I would use when boiling a pot of water for pasta and I want to salt the water. TPS would use this when he is baking. I find this salt to be much more mellower than regular table salt, which can have an astringent and sometimes slightly bitter taste. Even though the box says ‘coarse’ it is really quite fine compared to the other 2 we like to use.
The second variety is something we have carried at Watson Kennedy since we first opened the Home store. It is a French Fleur de Sel. This is the salt I reach for the most often. It is beefier than the first, still has a very mellow taste, but I think it imparts more flavor. Scattered on top of sliced tomatoes, to topping a chicken soon to be roasted, Camargue Fleur de Sel is always my choice. This also makes a great little gift, as it comes in this spiffy little container with a cork top.
And last, but most certainly not least is the fab Maldon sea salt flakes from England. It is chunky. Love this stuff! This is finishing salt in my book. Maldon is what I would use to do a final sprinkling of salt over a bowl of pasta or over veg right out of the oven after they have been roasted. The chunky salt adding an interesting visual, while adding flavor.
We were thrilled to have 2 of our favorite things at the shops & website chosen to be in the Real Simple magazine Holiday Gift Guide issue.
The ever popular Zig-Zag corkscrew from France was selected for a great guy gift. I think this piece is so sculptural and beautiful. Really just a great looking object. Cool enough to leave out when not in use. Opens a bottle of vino spiffily too.
The travel tin of Maldon sea salt from England was the other pick. This was featured in the stocking stuffer section. What a perfect little thing to have stashed away in your purse or valise for when a perfect dash of sublime flaky sea salt is called into action and a boring shake of table salt just won’t do.
The Market this week-end had baskets full of fresh garbanzo beans. Mister Sive did a quick stroll through the stalls, picking us up provisions for WestWard, and brought back a large bag of them. I had never seen them before, or rather, they never really registered with me. They have now. They are much more tender than the canned variety, and are great as a snack or added to a salad. Encased in a light colored paper-like shell, which are easy to remove, many times there were 2 or 3 beans in each pod. There is a sweetness to the taste and the texture is much more tender than older beans. We removed them from the paper shell, yielding a small amount, perfect for cooking in a bit of extra virgin olive oil. I just added them to the hot oil, letting them crisp up just a tad. I removed them with a slotted spoon and sprinkled them with a good dose of Maldon flaky sea salt. We snacked on them in the afternoon, and then added them to a salad with dinner.
Plus, I loved the way the way they looked while still in the shell, filling up a large bowl sitting out on the counter too.
A few months back, I wrote about the contents of my Filson bag that I carry with me each day, as requested by a customer. In it, was a small travel tin of Maldon sea salt. It had been a gift from the company that I buy the boxes of salt from for Watson Kennedy. We received so many requests regarding those tins, that said lovely company has decided to offer the travel tins, and in turn, we will now be offering them at the shop and on the website. As I wrote in that post, good salt is good salt. Having a small pinch to add to your meal when you are out & about, far surpasses normal table salt. Founded in 1882, England’s Maldon Salt Crystal Company still draws salt from seawater using traditional long-handled rakes. The result is the world famous chunky, pyramid shaped crystals.
A happy Friday to one and all!