Which salt is best?

How to be the best consumer you can be.
April 26 2005 4:38 AM

Worth One's Salt

From fleur de sel to kosher, which salt is best?

(Continued from Page 2)

Serving Suggestions: Baking, salting water for pasta, a helping hand around the house, killing slugs (a childhood pastime of mine, now forsaken).

I tested Diamond Crystal instead of Morton because I couldn't find any Morton at my corner supermarket, but I regret that decision. I've always loved the Morton Salt girl—her cute yellow sundress and matching yellow shoes … she's even had poems written about her. But alas, we tested Diamond Crystal, which was found to be "pedestrian." On the fries, the small grains were dismissed as "too strong." No surprises in the looks department—it looks like table salt. And the packaging, well, like I said, I've got a thing for that Morton girl. Diamond is the cheapest of salts—and it seems you get what you pay for.

Click image to expand.

La Baleine Sea Salt

(fine), $3.59 for 26.5 ounces ($0.14 per ounce)

Category: Sea Salt

Taste: 5.38

Appearance: 6

Packaging: 7.5

Total: 18.88

Advertisement

Serving Suggestions: Sauces, baking. Convenient shaker spout allows for even distribution over meats before grilling.

La Baleine (the whale) is the first "gourmet" salt that I ever purchased, and thus I hold some allegiance to it. The French sea salt fared OK in our taste tests, receiving high marks for its contribution to the pasta sauce: It "brought out the flavor of the tomatoes without overpowering them." In the basic tongue test, one taster suggested it was, "An ass-salt on the tongue! Like a bad one night stand—cheap and sleazy." This is probably because the very fine grains dissolve quickly on the tongue. Given its reasonable price, and its relative success in the steak test, La Baleine would make an excellent addition to your outdoor grilling area.

Click image to expand.

Ravida Sea Salt

, $12 for 17.85 ounces ($0.67 per ounce)

Category: Sea Salt

Taste: 5.42

Appearance: 8

Packaging: 8

Total: 21.42

Serving Suggestions: With its crispy crystals, best used where a noticeable crunch is desired, as on grilled meats, salads, fresh tomatoes.

The taste results for this Sicilian sea salt were scattershot. One taster described its large, glasslike crystals as "circus salt from a vendor's pretzel." Ravida didn't satisfyingly latch on to the fries and scored rather low that round: As one taster quibbled, "Does not adhere well to the fry. No impact."

It fared well in other areas—the crystals resemble tiny, gleaming diamond fragments. I particularly like the packaging because it shows photographs of salt mounds cast against a deep blue Sicilian sky. I can almost taste the Mediterranean when staring at the canister, but I'm not convinced that makes it worth the $0.67 per ounce price tag.

TODAY IN SLATE

War Stories

The Right Target

Why Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS may be more effective than people expect.

The One National Holiday Republicans Hope You Forget

It’s Legal for Obama to Bomb Syria Because He Says It Is

I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights

Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.

Should You Recline Your Seat? Two Economists Weigh In.

Doublex

It Is Very, Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Or, why it is very, very stupid to compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice.

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

Why Is This Mother in Prison for Helping Her Daughter Get an Abortion?

It’s Fine to Use Facebook to Serve People With Legal Papers, Court Rules

  News & Politics
Foreigners
Sept. 23 2014 6:40 PM Coalition of the Presentable Don’t believe the official version. Meet America’s real allies in the fight against ISIS.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 23 2014 2:08 PM Home Depot’s Former Lead Security Engineer Had a Legacy of Sabotage
  Life
Outward
Sept. 23 2014 1:57 PM Would a Second Sarkozy Presidency End Marriage Equality in France?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 2:32 PM Politico Asks: Why Is Gabby Giffords So “Ruthless” on Gun Control?
  Slate Plus
Political Gabfest
Sept. 23 2014 3:04 PM Chicago Gabfest How to get your tickets before anyone else.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 8:38 PM “No One in This World” Is One of Kutiman’s Best, Most Impressive Songs
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 23 2014 5:36 PM This Climate Change Poem Moved World Leaders to Tears Today
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 23 2014 4:33 PM Who Deserves Those 4 Inches of Airplane Seat Space? An investigation into the economics of reclining.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 23 2014 7:27 PM You’re Fired, Roger Goodell If the commissioner gets the ax, the NFL would still need a better justice system. What would that look like?