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 4)

Category: Kosher Salt

Taste: 6.91

Appearance: 4

Packaging: 5

Total: 15.91

Serving Suggestion: To brine or kasher meat, great on fries, good for baking. A great all-purpose salt, and at $0.06 per ounce, a great value.

In my past life as a restaurant cook, I used kosher salt exclusively. It's cheap, and it's got a good texture. Still, I was surprised to see it perform so well—perhaps people are accustomed to its flavor because it is widely used. It scored the highest of the salts in the pasta round, where it yielded a "rich, complex, delicious" sauce. It was also a notable fry-coating favorite, where its "organic shapes sparkled."

On its own, this kosher salt looks a bit sickly—grayish and translucent. On fries or the rim of a margarita glass, however, it glistens. The packaging: I was pleased to reunite with my beloved Morton Salt Girl. Unfortunately, she's reduced to a minor character on this box, playing second fiddle to a still-life of vegetables. One note: The canister's spout can be treacherous—best to pour into the hand before sprinkling on food.

Click image to expand.

M. Gilles Hervy Fleur de Sel

, $14.00 for 16 ounces ($0.88 per ounce)

Category: Fleur de sel

Taste: 7.11

Appearance: 8

Packaging: 9

Total: 24.11

Serving Suggestions: The SaltWorks Web site suggests, "It is a natural complement to fresh raw vegetables, salads, or grilled meats. A truly fulfilling moment is fresh trimmed radishes dipped in Fleur de Sel and served with sweet butter and sliced baguette." Yum.

A light, crunchy crystal, this winning fleur de sel comes from Brittany (near the town of Guérande, renowned for its fleur de sel harvesting marshes) and true to suggestion, was best on a piece of freshly sliced cucumber where its "smooth flavor" provided a "nice crunchy burst" that finished "amazingly clean—like a clean shave."

Similar to the Camargue fleur de sel, Gilles Hervy's moist square crystals occasionally stick together. In the package, the salt has an amber-gray hue that suggests its natural, hand-harvested origins. $14 seems like a lot for a bag of salt; but I've certainly spent $14 in far less gratifying ways—take that last U2 album, for example.

Click image to expand.

Maldon Sea Salt

, $5.50 for 8.5 ounces ($0.65 per ounce)

Category: Sea Salt

Taste: 7.31

Appearance: 10

Packaging: 7

Total: 24.31



The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10


Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Hasbro Is Cracking Down on Scrabble Players Who Turn Its Official Word List Into Popular Apps

Florida State’s New President Is Underqualified and Mistrusted. He Just Might Save the University.

  News & Politics
Sept. 30 2014 9:33 PM Political Theater With a Purpose Darrell Issa’s public shaming of the head of the Secret Service was congressional grandstanding at its best.
Sept. 30 2014 7:02 PM At Long Last, eBay Sets PayPal Free
Sept. 30 2014 7:35 PM Who Owns Scrabble’s Word List? Hasbro says the list of playable words belongs to the company. Players beg to differ.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 8:54 PM Bette Davis Talks Gender Roles in a Delightful, Animated Interview From 1963
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 30 2014 11:51 PM Should You Freeze Your Eggs? An egg freezing party is not a great place to find answers to this or other questions.
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.