I love salt. I try to have different types of salt on hand – fine sea salt, coarse salt, margarita salt – so I can experiment with textures when I cook and bake. I even consider myself a salt connoisseur. So when I received The Spice Lab’s “Salts of the World” collection, I was immediately inspired.
This beautiful collection of four salts – Himalayan Pink Salt, Fleur de Sel, coarse Hawaiian Red Salt, and Applewood Smoked Salt – is creatively packaged in test tubes with cork seals. I enjoy feeling like a mad scientist in the kitchen, and this approach appealed to me.
For my first experiment (I mean “meal”), I seasoned four ground Angus beef patties with tellicherry black pepper and the Hawaiian red salt and fried them on my electric grill. The resulting crust on top of the burger was packed with a hearty flavor and offered a delightful crunch. I topped our fries with the Fleur de Sel, which, in my opinion, is what salt should taste like: light, bright, and of the sea.
The next night, my husband and I made a family favorite: pork chops and roasted Brussels sprouts. My hubby took over Brussels sprouts duty, tossing the sprouts with olive oil, pepper, garlic, and the Himalayan salt. I tackled the pork chops, dipping them in a flour mixture with pepper and the Applewood salt, then frying them in a skillet with canola oil and butter. The Applewood salt seems to be made for pork. And we all lamented that we didn’t have more Brussels sprouts; the Himalayan salt added just the right amount of saltiness without overpowering the garlic and rich flavor of the sprout.
For my final test (and because I couldn’t get enough of the Applewood salt), I whipped up my breakfast specialty: sausage gravy. I use mild sausage because I like to create my own seasoning mix. And after indulging in this concoction, I can say with certainty that the Applewood salt is my new favorite staple. The deep, woody flavor of this salt brought a new depth to my gravy that I hope to duplicate every Sunday.
My new favorite breakfast is boiled eggs and toast, so I sprinkled the Hawaiian red salt and Applewood salt on top. Each salt added a delightful texture to their respective egg half and made my breakfast appear pretty fancy!
I also received a jar of cinnamon and two types of tea: Cardamom and Stress Relief. The cinnamon was delightfully aromatic but didn’t overpower my coffee when I sprinkled some in, and the loose-leaf stress relief tea helped me nurse myself through a cold.
A word of caution: The salt tubes are made of glass. When you remove the cork, be sure to pull up and not to the side. I broke two test tubes that way. That’s not the fault of The Spice Lab.