What to Eat Now
All the big name chefs in town keep at least a half-dozen salts on hand: There’s truffle salt for French fries, British Maldon fleur de sel for finishing salads, and sel gris (gray salt) for seasoning and curing meats prior to cooking. There’s sea salt with wild fresh Italian herbs for chicken, smoked salt to add nuance to sauces, and even finishing salts in pink, black, and brilliant white to add visual pop and mineral flavor to breads, cheese, and seafood. Seem like overkill? It won’t once you try a few. Specialized salts are the easiest way to add lots of flavor to food in a jiff. Experiment with some of the salts pictured here. The Alder-wood smoked Pacific sea salt from Golden Fig (bottom) is so profoundly scented that it smells like bonfire in a jar; add it to tomato-based sauces for instant depth. Golden Fig’s sel de cuisine (center), made with a half-dozen spices—including rosemary, red chili peppers, and cinnamon—makes chicken nuanced and surprising; add a tablespoon to the water when cooking plain rice for a restaurant-worthy pilaf. Hawaiian Alea sea salt (top) adds brilliant color to savory buns or fresh oysters. Golden Fig salts are available at most Byerly’s locations and the Golden Fig store in St. Paul. The Hawaiian salt is available at the Chef’s Gallery in Stillwater.