Saturday, February 20, 2010

How you know you're not actually a foodie...

In my cooking class on February 16, we did a salt tasting. I was pretty excited about this, which is surprising, because I don't actually like salt that much. But we used to get a catalog for a company called Napa Style, and the owner was always lauding the value of gray salt. It seemed like really expensive, discolored salt. I couldn't figure out why this was the ingredient to distinguish a great kitchen.

And I still can't. Technically, we didn't test gray salt. We had iodized salt, kosher salt, Hawaiian salt, and Cypress lava salt. Our chef said that the iodized salt had the "saltiest" taste, but I'm pretty sure they were all salty. The Hawaiian salt was red because it was infused with clay. Why, exactly, would I want to eat clay? It probably would have looked fancy on top of something, but all I could think about was my blood pressure. The Cypress lava salt was black, because, guess what, it was infused with lava. Infused with lava. Yeah, I'm pretty sure I'm good without that in my diet.

If I hadn't been looking, and if they had all been ground up to the same consistency, I would have never known the difference. As it was, iodized salt was, well, iodized, and kosher was kosher. The Hawaiian salt was the chunkier and the hardest of the four we tasted--I felt like I was chewing rocks, and the lava salt kind of looked like shale. It had interesting mineral patterns, but it was a little creepy to eat. I felt like I was forcing myself to try to digest dust or something.

Apparently learning to cook and becoming a foodie are not the same thing.


  1. Pete and I tried a chocolate with lava salt at the choc fest a while back. It was a little smokier, but if you had put a gun to our head, we probably couldn't have told the difference.

  2. Your post is cracking me up! We were recently in Hawaii and over dinner one night in a fancy restaurant, I realized that the food was under salted (not usually an issue for me). So I asked the waiter to bring me some salt, and he came back with a dish brimming with pink Hawaiian sea salt! I was so excited, I got them to package the leftover salt for me - and I came back to the US with $7 or so of salt!

  3. Haha! You do realize, of course, that Hawaii is in the US? But nice work on snagging some quality salt...if you know what to do with it! Just keep it away from the planer!