Most of you may experience it occasionally when you select the ideal recipe, use the finest ingredients, and prepare a delicious meal by following all the required steps. However, you feel a gap in the finished meal’s flavor and presentation. What might that be? Most likely, you only need a decent finishing salt to fill that gap.
Salt is something we all have been using for ages. It is a necessary culinary item that almost all recipes ask for and every kitchen keeps on hand. Finishing salt, however, differs from the regular table salt that is normally used in every recipe. Finishing salt is more of a gourmet salt and is used as the last touch on your prepared meals, as the name suggests. You must have a lot of questions about finishing salts. Let’s get answers to all those questions.
What Is Finishing Salt?
Finishing salt includes a whole category of salts that are intended to give a finished recipe a final texture and flavor. Similar to table salt and kosher salt, finishing salts are also entirely made up of sodium chloride while certain salts contain trace amounts of minerals that may impart minor color and flavor modifications. Different salts come in a range of sizes and forms. They can come in the form of powdery white grains or small pink flakes that crackle between your teeth to produce a tasty flavor. Finishing salt allows the cooks to enhance the flavor of anything and provide a crunch.
These exotic salts give wonderful addition to many cuisines worldwide. Adding finishing salt is the last step of preparing a meal where the irregular and unpredictable salt flakes produce little spurts of salty flavor.
Types Of Finishing Salt
There isn’t a finishing salt that works for every dish. It is essential to pick the one that complements the specific dishes and highlights its flavors.
There are several alternatives available on the market. Finishing salt includes rough or flat salt crystals that are uneven and flaky, unlike table salt which has even-shaped crystals.
Finishing salts not just differ in texture and flavor but in shape – they can be either flat flakes and rough or spiky crystals. Flake salt is mostly sea salt of different types obtained from evaporated seawater. Whereas crystal finishing salt comes from salt mines in the form of rocks. Here are some of the best and most popular finishing salts:
1. Pink Himalayan Salt
It is one of the best finishing salts for fruits, salads, steaks, desserts, dips, and soups. The beautiful pink crystals of Himalayan salt add dazzling color to the dishes enhancing their presentation with a subtle salty flavor. It is the best finishing salt for steak. The perfect crystals of Himalayan salt add a crunchy texture that compliments the steak and gives a tasty crunch as you eat. Finishing off dips and sauces with Himalayan rock salt combines the delicate crystals with the smoothness of the dips and enriches the taste. Himalayan pink finishing salt is available in a variety of grain sizes to choose from for every dish.
2. Maldon Salt
Maldon is a perfect finishing salt because of its unique texture. This salt has irregular pyramid-like crystals harvested from the Blackwater estuary, located in the English town of Maldon, therefore called Maldon salt. It has a clean and fresh flavor that gives an earthy feel to the dishes. Its subtle texture, raw flavor, and flaky crystals make it a standard for finishing meals.
3. Fleur De Sel
Fleur de sel is a bright and delicate finishing salt that enhances the taste of fruits, soups, salads, steaks, and desserts. Fleur de sel melts slowly when sprinkled on food due to its moist texture. Hence it gives a complex flavor and delicate crunch.
Finishing Salt Recipe
Apart from using any finishing salt as it is, you can also prepare different versions of salt at home. Salt with spices goes really well with many dishes. Adding different herbs or spices to the finishing salts can make them more flavorful. Here are some of the recipes to make various variations of finishing salt.
Smoked Finishing Salt
Smoked salt is made by slowly smoking the salt over burning wood until you get the desired flavor. The intensity of the smoke flavor and aroma will depend on the wood used. Oakwood, Sandalwood, Apple, Alder, or Hickory hardwood, can be used for preparing smoked salt. The smoke of these woods adds flavor, aroma, and color to the dishes.
You can use smoked finishing salt for steaks, sauces, soups, stews, and marinades. A simple way to make smoked salt is to take 2 cups of Himalayan pink salt or sea salt and heat it over the wood you like at 300-350F for 2 to 4 hours.
Flavored Finishing Salt
Finishing salts are blended with other natural ingredients like herbs and spices to make flavored finishing salt. These natural ingredients add color, aroma, and flavor to the salt.
Almost everything can be combined with salt like black pepper, oregano, rosemary, parsley, etc. Using flavor-infused finishing salts is the ideal way to give your cuisine an entirely new dimension. It is a secret ingredient for elevating a dish from ordinary to spectacular.
How To Use Finishing Salt?
Add just the proper amount of this super ingredient to finish your meals. Although using a finishing salt is quite simple, you shouldn’t overdo it. After all, it is salt, so make sure to use it in moderation. Sprinkle a small amount of any finishing salt you like on top of the final dish.
The trick is to use your fingers to sprinkle it on your dishes as it will help to control the amount of salt and also add the warmth of the fingers that helps to bring out the flavor. Make sure to use finishing salts right before serving the food otherwise high temperatures will melt the salt crystals and make them lose their unique character.