When I was a young child, the only salt available to home cooks was Morton’s, the one in the round blue container with the girl and the yellow umbrella on it. Their slogan was “When it rains, it pours”. I didn’t quite understand what that had to do with salt, but I still remember the words. Then when I was a teenager, the health food movement had begun and with it came “sea salt”, but it was typically generic and sold bulk in clear plastic bags.
Fast forward to now. Salt is definitely a “thing” and there are so many varieties it can make your head spin. Salt from the coast of Normandy, the Himalayas, salt from . . . Salt Lake. Black salt, pink salt, yellow salt, red salt, smoked salt. Plain ol’ salt has indeed become quite fancy as if it’s all dressed up in party clothes.
Over time, I have tried many of them. I became somewhat of a salt fiend. The subtle differences in flavor mystified me. After all, salt is just sodium chloride. Why the differences in flavor then? I’m not sure, but overtime, one in particular stood out and became my “go to salt”, the one I put on or in almost everything. It’s Maldon Sea Salt Flakes, from the southeast coast of England and made by a family that has been in the business for 140 years.
Why is this one different? It seems to not only have a taste, but a feeling too. This is very difficult to describe but the closest I can get is “completeness”. Sprinkle this on and the food goes into full bloom. Somehow it unifies and magnifies all the flavors as if they spin around and whoosh the taste comes out just right. Food goes from good to great to fabulous to joy. And it does this without tasting overly salty.
Not only does it have magical ability in the flavor department, it also adds texture. The salt is made of little pyramids, small chunks that go crunch when you eat them (this salt is a finishing salt, for use on or in food after it is cooked). Just a tiny pinch can make a huge difference. Try sprinkling some on chocolate chip cookies just a few minutes before they are done baking and you’ll see what I mean.
Just the other day I examined the box and noticed the Royal Warrant of the Queen of England on it. That’s it! This salt is the Queen of Salt. Try some Maldon Sea Salt Flakes and be amazed with the flavors of your creations. You too will discover the taste difference.