All salts are not created equal! As most cooks know, using sea salt rather than iodized or kosher salt adds more flavor to a dish. Sea salts, however, come in a variety of flavors and colors. Experiment with different salts in your recipes and see what happens.
For best results, many of these salts should be sprinkled lastly on a dish like a garnish. Sea salt is a product of the minerals found in the seawater where it is harvested. Most coastal countries produce sea salt of some kind and there are dozens of varieties waiting to be tasted. Here are my favorite places to buy gourmet salts.
01 of 10
This highly recommended source for gourmet salts has an astounding assortment of gourmet salts (over 130!): wonderful sea salts like Hawaiian Red Alaea, Lake Grassmere Sea Salt from New Zealand, Cyprus Black Lava Finishing Sea Salt, Qab-nab Taab Sea Salt from El Salvador; smoked salts like Bourbon Smoked Sea Salt from Kentucky, Hawaiian Tiki Smoked Guava Wood Sea Salt, Viking Oak Smoked Sea Salt from Denmark; flavored salts like Asian Thai Ginger Salt, Coconut Garam Masala Sea Salt, and Bourbon Vanilla Bean Sea Salt. The Spice Lab also a great assortment of salt tools: salt dip spoons, cellars, and grinders. Everything is very reasonably priced and shipping is free on orders over $15.00.
02 of 10
This Seattle company boasts to being the largest gourmet sea salt company in the U.S. with over 30 varieties of salt, each with various grain sizes. Their salts are bought directly from farmers who hand-harvest the salt using traditional methods. Highlights: Hawaiian Red Sea Salt, Fleur de Sel, Sel Gris (gray salt), Cyprus Flake, Flower of Bali, Smoked Salts, Murray River (Australia), Andes Desert Salt, and much more.
03 of 10
Salt Traders have a wonderful assortment of unique sea salts from around the world. Some favorites include Japanese Nazuna Sea Salt, Danish Viking-Smoked Sea Salt, Bali Sea Salt (comes in a coconut!), and Peruvian Pink Salt. Salt Traders also carries a great collection of blended salts like truffle salt, saffron salt, Sel Gris with Seaweed, Flor de Sal Hibiscus (with hibiscus, herbs, and black olive), and much more.
04 of 10
One of my favorite places for buying gourmet ingredients, ChefShop has a good collection of artisan sea salts, including Anglesey Vanilla Sea Salt (Wales), Murray River Pink Sea Salt (Australia), Hawaiian Sea Salt, Sel Gris with Herbs, Fleur de Sel, and more.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10
This wonderful Portland, Oregon company has over 50 finishing salts from around the world. They have some great obscure selections like Okinawa Snow, Taha'a Vanilla Flake, Bengal Blue, and Turkish Black Pyramid. Be sure to check out "The Meadow"'s salt blog at www.saltnews.com, full of fascinating stuff about artisan salts.
06 of 10
Maine Sea Salt Company makes some of the best-smoked salts that are amazingly delicious! These guys harvest their salt directly from the sea off the coast of Maine, then smoke the salt using natural methods and one of four kinds of wood: alder, apple, hickory, or mesquite. You can also buy their salts unsmoked or seasoned, like Lemon Sea Salt or Sea Salt with Seaweed. Good stuff!
07 of 10
Salt Cellars has a great selection of finishing salts. Wonderful sea salts include Mayan Salt from El Salvadore, Bolivian Salt, Kala Namak from India, Trapani Sea Salt from Sicily, Cyprus Salts, Peruvian Pink, and Hawaiian Black Lava Sea Salt.
They also have some wonderfully flavored salts: Ginger Rooted, Toasted Onion, Lemon, Tomato, Spanish Rosemary, and more. Spicy hot salts include Ghost Pepper Salt, Sriracha Salt, Jalapeno, Chipotle, and more. This site also offers smoked salts and wine-infused salts.
Salt Cellars also sells an interesting assortment of sea salts from Iceland: Black Icelandic Lava Salt, Licorice Root Salt, Birch Wood Smoked Icelandic Salt, and Arctic Thyme Salt.
08 of 10
This site has a good selection of gourmet salts, including Fleur de Sel, Murray River Salt, Smoked Viking Sea Salt, White Truffle Salt, Herbed Salts, and more.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10
Its small but tasty collection of salts include Fleur de Sel, Himalayan Pink Salt, Casina Rosa Truffle Salt, Hawaiian Pink Salt, Murray River, more.
10 of 10
This gourmet shop offers a nice assortment of sea salts from around the world, such as Smoked Sea Salts, Hawaiian Red Salt, Fleur de Sel, and several blended salts with various herbs.