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Wondering about finishing salts? How are they made and what makes them so special? Let’s start with a fundamental tenet of all-natural salts: Where and how your salt was harvested affects its taste, texture, smell, and color. Just like your favorite wine, coffee, and chocolate, all-natural salt is a product of its environment. Salt crystals can be moist or dry, delicate or dense, powdery or crunchy—and everything in between! Finishing salts are the premier varieties of specialty salts. Harvested generally by hand in specific regions of the world, finishing salts are most admired for their unique textures—either moist crystals or delicate flakes. These salts enhance the depth of natural flavors of in any dish, and enrich a table setting with beautiful, shimmering presentation. The various colors and flakes of finishing salts make gorgeous garnishes for every meal.
Perfectly orchestrated timing plays a key role in the formation and density of salt crystals. As opposed to a long, solar evaporation process that produces traditional, granular sea salts, finishing salts form on the surface of salt ponds. Time & temperature must be just so to produce the ideal texture – from the moist irregular crystals of Fleur de Sel, to the large, dense pyramids that comprise Cyprus Flake. No two are alike, and each has its own distinguishable qualities. As they are generally much more labor intensive to produce, these special salts are typically considered a little more luxurious than some of their salty counterparts. However just a pinch goes a long way, and to make the most of their unique characteristics, they are perfect for use in topping & garnishing applications. Finishing salts are a mild and balanced choice. Because their crystals & flakes vary in size from paper-thin shavings to heartier pyramids, when cooking it is recommended to use the more substantial grains for higher moisture dishes and the more delicate flakes for lower moisture dishes. The key, of course, is that it must melt in your mouth, not on your food, for the most dramatic effects!
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