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This news article was originally written in Spanish. It has been automatically translated for your convenience. Reasonable efforts have been made to provide an accurate translation, however, no automated translation is perfect nor is it intended to replace a human translator. The original article in Spanish can be viewed at Ese punto de sal... que hacía falta 
Of basic condiment in any kitchen, to product ‘delicatessen' and object of gift

This point of salt... That did fault

Anna León19/12/2011

19 December 2011

How many times have heard that, to the hour to test a dish, of “is missing him a point of salt”? A montón, sure. And it is that one of the virtues of this food is the fact to having known happen of basic condiment in any kitchen to product ‘delicatessen'. Nowadays, can choose between a montón of salts: from some of the more employees in the high kitchen, like the salt Maldon, from the county of Essex (England) to other more exotic, like the pink salt of the Himalaya and the black of Hawaï. And what say of flower of salt, of big purity, in his multiple versions? Gastronomic fashions, venues of restoration and skilled shops are the managers that we can choose between an every time greater variety of salts. In the shop, in the restored and colorista market of Santa Caterina (Barcelona), the customers can find exquisiteces like the flower of salt to the wine Cabernet Sauvignon or the chocolate with Flower of Salt of Ibiza.

“When we inaugurate the shop, the customers hinder and asked information about the variety of oils that had. However, from it does some years, have detected that ask, especially, by the salts that sell”. For Daniel Mercadé García, responsible of, the salts of high range have turned into the product ‘crashes' of his business. Strolling by the popular market of Santa Caterina (Barcelona), discover this peculiar establishment of products ‘delicatessen', where show to the public more than 40 references of salts in different formats and categories. “By here, they have happened more than 180 references, but because of the little space that have, something more than 30 m2, can not have them all. At the end, the own customers do a preselection, in function of which more interest them. Some have them because they already are a referent inside the sector, like the pink salt of the Himalaya or the flower of salt of Guérande. Also all that type Maldon, and even, inside the national products, the Flower of the Delta, one of the most known”. Besides, can distinguish between salts of rock and marine salts, in function of his origin. The first, are presents in the earth and find in subterranean deposits, in shape of veto of salt; the second, achieve of natural form by the evaporation generated by the sun and the wind, possess only 34% of chloride sódico although they are richer in trace elements.

Was as it went, this condiment no longer values of the same form in that it did several generations backwards. Of the common salt, fine and thick, indispensable in the kitchen, has happened to evaluate qualities organolépticas and healthy of this food that happened unobserved. “In this sense, has helped us a lot that the restaurants and cooks of prestige enter the salt in his manufacturings, because the people wants to eat in his house to the equal that does it when it goes out was. And even more, with the current crisis. A lot of people encourages to experience and try imitate, between comillas, what tests in the restaurant”. In spite of this enthusiastic eagerness, the salt keeps on being the “big “ unknown', from the culinary point of view. However this appearance is not a problem for skilled shops like the one of Daniel Mercadé: “Precisely therefore, because this product does not know too much, the people leaves advise. Therefore, they ask for what are used to use and for what no, how have to accompany , etcetera”.

“Some salts have them because they already are a referent, like the pink salt of the Himalaya or the flower of salt of Guérande. Also all that type Maldon, and even, inside the national products, the Flower of the Delta, one of the most known”

In the centre, appreciate several boats of flower of salt of Guérande, from the coasts of the Bretaña French and characteristic colour grisáceo and thick grain. At the side, flower of salt of the Delta of the Ebro, one of the produced in our country and also of which more sell .

Of the salt Maldon, usual in high kitchen, to the pink salt of the Himalaya or the black of Hawaii

In general, what look for the consumers in the salts of high range? For Daniel Mercadé, it would be necessary to differentiate between two appearances: on the one hand, the touch personal; and by the another, the visual appearance that contribute to the already elaborated dishes. “I think that the customers choose the salt that adecua more to his personal taste. They are products very personal, that have to explain and that the public has to assimilate to decide exactly what want to. For example, the salts that present in pyramids, are some of the most known, because of his gastronomic influence”, adds. Precisely, and in search of that touch of distinction, have put fashionable the pink salt of the Himalaya and the black of Hawaii. The first, is a salt of rock, of big purity since it comes from of ancient oceans no contaminated and dried, with hindsight, does more than 200 million years backwards. Of characteristic pink colour, provides an only visual component, something that values a lot of in the kitchen more vanguardista. “It is a very hard salt, that has to grind previously, and that presents tonalities very showy. In spite of his hardness, his salty flavour is not excessively strong”.

By his part, the black salt of Hawaii, known also like ‘perla black', provides “a lot of tonality in the dishes”. Of volcanic origin, this salt collects manually, in the island of Molokai. In his composition, find , to equal parts, marine salt and active vegetal coal, from volcanic rocks. The rocks of black lava add to the water of the lakes so that the glasses of salt impregnate of the active coal of the lava. The result is a salt of thick grain and black,  texture sedosa and flavour ahumado. “It is a very visual salt, that a lot of people employs like a false caviar”, explains Mercadé.

“I think that the customers choose the salt that adapts more to his personal taste. They are products that have to explain and that the public has to assimilate to decide exactly what want to”

Of the pink salt of the Himalaya values especially his purity and the touch visual that contributes, from the culinary point of view. It treats of a salt of rock, fashionable, extremely hard by what has to grind for like this facilitate his use.

Finally, the flower of salt of Guérande, stands out also by his grey tones, and commercialises already grinded and in grain. It is a marine salt that extracts of the Atlantic, in the coasts of the Bretaña French. Of thick grain, this salt also contributes visual nuances in the kitchen, since his characteristic grey colour has to at the end marine of the zone. “It is a little manipulated salt. Even once it has been dried”. To the salt harvested in Guérande considers it to him the flower of salt by excellence. With the evaporation of the water in the saltworks, appear the first glasses of chloride sódico. The lightest remain in the surface, in place to deposit deep down, forming a film. This collects with a similar utensil to a rake without quills, known like ‘lousse'. From here, it arises the flower of salt. That is to say, the first crystalline layer on the surface of the water by the desiccation. An entirely natural salt, without additives of any class.

Salts of high range there is a lot of –exotic –, ahumadas, with species, to base of grasses, for example– and in crowd of formats of presentation –in flakes, pyramids, in tablets to dissolve in water, liquid to the wine, for quoting some–, although one of the precursors is the Maldon. Perhaps the more employee in the kitchen and the easiest to find in the point of sale. The Maldon obtains of the saltworks of the county of Essex (England). In spite of his wide diffusion, no recolecta all the years since precise of some ideal climatological conditions and his manufacturing keeps on being artesanal. Of the salt Maldon, also designated ‘salt of flakes' by the glasses that appreciate in shape of flakes, stand out his natural purity and his intense salty flavour. It dissolves easily by what can espolvorear in the moment to serve the dish. “Of the Maldon usual, normal and current, now has happened to other salts of this type with distinct flavours. Here we have Maldon with pimiento to the edge, with mushrooms and even black olives. In concrete, our customers ask Maldon accompanied of products liofilizados, dried or dehydrated to be able to them mix with the salt”.

In the centre, the black salt of Hawaii, of volcanic origin. The black colour of his grains as well as the shine that give off makes possible that it use it to him, often, for espolvorear the dishes and like substitute of the caviar.

The culinary suggestion of

Daniel Mercadé, commissioned of this skilled shop, advises us the most ideal salts, from the gastronomic point of view

-For the fish, advises a flower of salt with lemon and lavender, that would give him a touch citrus but also very floral. “I think that on a sole or a white fish would remain very well”, specifies.

-Another suggestion would be a flower of salt with black olives on a salad caprese or any one that had tuna like one of his ingredients. “Also it could espolvorear on an escalibada of pepper and eggplant, for example”.

-The meat would accompany it with a flower of salt with wine, already was Merlot or any typical variety of the Majorcan island.

-And finally, for a braver kitchen, would use a flower of salt with chili pepper that would contribute him spicy nuances. An ideal salt to accompany a guacamole, an enchilada or any oriental dish, this yes, that was spicy.