After my minor salt rant, a number of people asked which salt to use and what I thought about various salts. There are a mind-numbing array of salts out there, even big blocks of salt you can cook and serve on. But, with apologies to Mark Bitterman, whose work and business I truly admire, I stick to three salts. Kosher is my all-purpose, everyday, really-don’t-need-any-other-kind salt. I use Morton’s because that’s what my grocery store stocks. If they offered a choice, I’d use Diamond Crystal, which is flakier and doesn’t have any anti-caking agents in it. It’s just salt. I use fine sea salt to season fish and vegetables I eat raw. And I use a finishing salt for visual and textural appeal, fleur de sel or Maldon.
I was given some smoked salt, which was fun, very nice on tomatoes. I love to sprinkle truffle salt on popcorn. I like heavy crunchy gray salt on a strip steak. And I used the coarse sea salt, above, on pretzels.
Again there’s nothing wrong with saffron-flavored salt or vanilla salt—they’re fun to play with (I’ll bet that vanilla salt would be great to finish a caramel sundae with). But as a rule, stick to kosher salt and you’re pretty much good to go for all your salting needs. And again, it’s not the salt on the kitchen counter that’s the problem in the American diet. It’s the hidden sodium in all the canned, boxed, and fast food we can’t keep our hands off of. Most people, if they eat fresh food, they can season it all they like with salt.