Hawaiian Black Sea Salt Question

Discussion in 'Food and nutrition' started by rox formerly rmg, Jan 2, 2006.

  1. I bought some "Black Sea Salt" in a large chain specialty food store here in
    San Francisco. Tasted it and it's pretty good, but the grains are all
    different shapes and sizes and it dissolves rather slowly. When I threw it
    in some broth the color came off the crystals and they looked clear, and
    after handling the stuff my fingers are black. I read a few web sites saying
    charcoal and other coloring can be part of the process in producing black
    sea salt, but I don't know if there are a lot of phoney salts out there.
    What should it taste like? One site says sea salt melts quickly in the mouth
    but this doesn't. I'm interested in some perspective if you know about the
    subject. I already have access to Google and I've been tooling around
    reading about it a bit. Thanks for any input.

    -Rox
     
    Tags:


  2. PastaLover

    PastaLover Guest

    rox formerly rmg wrote:
    > I bought some "Black Sea Salt" in a large chain specialty food store here in
    > San Francisco. Tasted it and it's pretty good, but the grains are all
    > different shapes and sizes and it dissolves rather slowly. When I threw it
    > in some broth the color came off the crystals and they looked clear, and
    > after handling the stuff my fingers are black. I read a few web sites saying
    > charcoal and other coloring can be part of the process in producing black
    > sea salt, but I don't know if there are a lot of phoney salts out there.
    > What should it taste like? One site says sea salt melts quickly in the mouth
    > but this doesn't. I'm interested in some perspective if you know about the
    > subject. I already have access to Google and I've been tooling around
    > reading about it a bit. Thanks for any input.
    >
    > -Rox
    >
    >

    There are a lot of different types of sea salt. Each geographic location
    that produces it sort of has its own flavor. Like how wine or coffee
    grown in different areas can have unique flavors--the French have a
    phrase for it, I don't remember the phrase, but it means something like
    "flavor of the ground"; the sea apparently is the same.

    Also depends upon the other minerals (besides sodium cloride) that are
    in the salt, and how it was made. Solar evapirated sea salt will be
    different than heat dried sea salt.

    It should taste salty, but might have other taste complexities due to
    the other minerials. I wonder if you got some smoked salt? This is salt
    that is dried over a smokey fire, and the wood smoke mixes with the salt
    to add lots of flavor. Just as meat cured over a smoke fire would have a
    different flavor than meat cured wet.

    As for how fast it melts (correct term is dissolve; it doesn't warm up
    and melt like ice) in your mouth, I think it depends upon the grain
    size. I have some Malton sea salt that is absolutely heavenly, huge flat
    flakes that really adhere to food, but it doesn't dissolve very quickly.
    Tildon sea salt, by the same company, but a different source, is finer
    grained and it dissolves away so fast you wonder if you imagined it.
     
  3. nancree

    nancree Guest

    http://www.terrywrightgeology.com/terroirs.html




    There are a lot of different types of sea salt. Each geographic
    location
    that produces it sort of has its own flavor. Like how wine or coffee
    grown in different areas can have unique flavors--the French have a
    phrase for it, I don't remember the phrase, but it means something like

    "flavor of the ground";
     
  4. nancree

    nancree Guest

    Hi Pasta Lover,
    The word you are looking for is "terroir"--a wonderful word describing
    all of the qualities that come into play in making a wine--soil,
    climate, atmosphere.

    http://www.terrywrightgeology.com/terroirs.html

    Cheers, Nancree
     
  5. "PastaLover" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > There are a lot of different types of sea salt. Each geographic location
    > that produces it sort of has its own flavor. Like how wine or coffee
    > grown in different areas can have unique flavors--the French have a
    > phrase for it, I don't remember the phrase, but it means something like
    > "flavor of the ground"; the sea apparently is the same.


    Thanks for these great responses. I'm wondering what mine actually is I
    guess. I read a lot of general facts about it but I wonder why the color
    comes off.

    cheers
     
  6. PastaLover

    PastaLover Guest

    nancree wrote:
    > Hi Pasta Lover,
    > The word you are looking for is "terroir"--a wonderful word describing
    > all of the qualities that come into play in making a wine--soil,
    > climate, atmosphere.
    >
    > http://www.terrywrightgeology.com/terroirs.html
    >
    > Cheers, Nancree
    >


    Thanks. I just remember Alton using it on an episode of Good Eats. The
    onion episode, I think it was, while explaining why Videlia (sp?) onions
    are so mild.
     
  7. On Tue, 03 Jan 2006 04:58:06 GMT, "rox formerly rmg"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    >"PastaLover" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >news:[email protected]
    >> There are a lot of different types of sea salt. Each geographic

    location
    >> that produces it sort of has its own flavor. Like how wine or

    coffee
    >> grown in different areas can have unique flavors--the French have a
    >> phrase for it, I don't remember the phrase, but it means something

    like
    >> "flavor of the ground"; the sea apparently is the same.

    >
    >Thanks for these great responses. I'm wondering what mine actually is

    I
    >guess. I read a lot of general facts about it but I wonder why the

    color
    >comes off.
    >
    >cheers
    >


    Are you sure it is Hawaiian? Not that it really matters. I live here
    and the only sea salt I have ever seen is reddish from the clay near
    the beach on one of our islands."Alae" salt. I have never heard of
    Hawaiian Black sea salt. WE don't even have much black dirt here.

    Our Alae sea salt is excellent, by the way.

    aloha,
    Thunder
    smithfarms.com
    Farmers of 100% Kona Coffee
    & other Great Stuff
     
  8. "rox formerly rmg" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > I bought some "Black Sea Salt" in a large chain specialty food store here

    in
    > San Francisco. Tasted it and it's pretty good, but the grains are all



    Thanks for all the perspective on my question about the black salt I
    purchased. Here's the response I got from the store. My salt is Palm Island
    Black Lava Sea Salt. Cheers, Rox

    --------------------------------------


    Thank you for your inquiry concerning the Black Sea Salt you purchased. I am
    pleased to hear you enjoyed the flavors. I am happy to give you the story
    behind the product.

    The company Hawaii Kai and the brand of their product is Palm Island Gormet.
    Palm Island GourmetT is a completely new grade of premium natural sea salt,
    painstakingly researched and developed by Hawaii Kai between 1999 and 2003.
    No other salt in the world compares to or competes with Palm Island Gourmet
    in its unique combination of taste, mineral content, intriguing varietals
    and affordability.

    Unlike some specialty salts, which are mined from land deposits, Palm Island
    Gourmet begins as freshly harvested Pacific Ocean salt-with no additives,
    nothing artificial. It is then heated to remove impurities, as are the salts
    of well-known brands such as Maldon, La Baleine, Halen Mon, Pacific Natural,
    Maine Salt, Borsari, Alaea Hawaiian, etc. But that's the end of any
    similarity between Palm Island Gourmet and salts such as these.

    While making Soul of the Sea®-our ultra-premium, Star Diamond Award-winning,
    gourmet Hawaiian sea salts-an extraordinary, mineral-rich tonic we call
    Ocean EssenceT is produced. We carefully blend this pure, unaltered,
    super-concentrated fluid into the Pacific Ocean salt through our proprietary
    multi-step technology, thus restoring natural flavor complexities and trace
    minerals, which are lost in the heating process.

    The result is Palm Island Gourmet White Silver, known for its marvelous
    sheen and texture, and distinctively "sweet" finish. In addition to being
    superb in its own right, White Silver is also the basis for our other Palm
    Island varietals - Red Gold and Black Lava.

    Red Gold - Hawaiian Red Alaea is a legendary medicinal clay laden with
    healthful benefits, which is known to exist only in the Islands of Aloha.
    Occuring naturally in bright, beautiful veins between layers of lava rock,
    Red Alaea is nevertheless difficult to find and thus very expensive. Our Red
    Alaea is the finest available; it's selected especially for Hawaii Kai by
    Molokai islanders, then baked for purity. When added to White Silver,
    through our proprietary technique that bonds the natural clay to the salt,
    the glorious color of our Red Gold is imparted, along with a deliciously
    nutty flavor.


    Black Lava - Activated Charcoal is a proven anti-toxin and digestive-tract
    palliative; many take it as a nutritional supplement. After years of
    research and development, we refined another proprietary process to bond
    this wonderful element to our salts. Hawaii Kai uses only the most costly,
    highest purity, highest quality activated charcoal, and the resulting
    varietals are the only true gourmet black salts sold anywhere in the world,
    prized by top chefs for their luxurious flavor and dramatic, glistening
    presentation.
     
  9. aem

    aem Guest

    rox formerly rmg wrote:
    >
    > Thanks for all the perspective on my question about the black salt I
    > purchased. Here's the response I got from the store. My salt is Palm Island
    > Black Lava Sea Salt. Cheers, Rox [snip sales pitch]


    What a bunch of malarkey. Take it all with a big pinch of (iodidized
    table) salt. -aem
     
  10. Naomi

    Naomi Guest

    x-no-archive: yes


    smithfarms pure kona wrote:

    >
    > Our Alae sea salt is excellent, by the way.
    >


    Yes, it's very good. And I don't normally bother with premium salts
    other than kosher or Maldon (for the texture).

    People pooh-pooh the use of special salts but they certainly create a
    different effect when sprinkled on top of a food if they are flaky,
    crunchy or whatever. The Hawaiian salt looks beautiful and has a
    slightly different taste.

    I also like some of the herb and spice blends based on Hawaiian salts
    that you can buy in grocery stores (in Hawaii and maybe elsewhere).
     
  11. "aem" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > rox formerly rmg wrote:
    > >
    > > Thanks for all the perspective on my question about the black salt I
    > > purchased. Here's the response I got from the store. My salt is Palm

    Island
    > > Black Lava Sea Salt. Cheers, Rox [snip sales pitch]

    >
    > What a bunch of malarkey. Take it all with a big pinch of (iodidized
    > table) salt. -aem



    Sorry, just posting what they say about their process. I was excited to find
    out after doing some searching and reading and after enjoying the salt. This
    is a cooking newsgroup after all :) I agree it's definitely directly from
    their marketing materials, but it's good. People are actually interested in
    "gourmet" and specialty salts these days, and everyone seems to have a
    schpiel.

    For those of you who are actually interested beyond the "malarkey"
    (sheesh!), the grains are somewhat large, flakey, and non-uniform. They are
    pitch black but the black will bleed a little. It looked great on New Year's
    day sprinkled on some huge garlic croutons floating atop a tarragon-infused
    celery root soup.

    cheers, Rox
     
  12. Arri London

    Arri London Guest

    rox formerly rmg wrote:
    >
    > "rox formerly rmg" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    > > I bought some "Black Sea Salt" in a large chain specialty food store here

    > in
    > > San Francisco. Tasted it and it's pretty good, but the grains are all

    >
    > Thanks for all the perspective on my question about the black salt I
    > purchased. Here's the response I got from the store. My salt is Palm Island
    > Black Lava Sea Salt. Cheers, Rox



    <snip blurb>

    It's quite amazing how much work and processing went into this 'natural'
    sea salt isn't it?
     
  13. aem

    aem Guest

    rox formerly rmg wrote:
    >
    > Sorry, just posting what they say about their process. I was excited to find
    > out after doing some searching and reading and after enjoying the salt. This
    > is a cooking newsgroup after all :) I agree it's definitely directly from
    > their marketing materials, but it's good. People are actually interested in
    > "gourmet" and specialty salts these days, and everyone seems to have a
    > schpiel. [snip]


    Oh, I didn't mean to imply that the salt itself is not a good find.
    It's just that these unverifiable New Age kind of 'health' claims for
    an endless list of things turn my stomach. Things can still be good,
    in spite of their marketing.... -aem
     
  14. nancree

    nancree Guest

    Arri London wrote:
    > rox formerly rmg wrote:
    > >
    > > "rox formerly rmg" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > > news:[email protected]
    > > > I bought some "Black Sea Salt" in a large chain specialty food store here

    > > in
    > > > San Francisco. Tasted it and it's pretty good, but the grains are all

    > >
    > > Thanks for all the perspective on my question about the black salt I
    > > purchased. Here's the response I got from the store. My salt is Palm Island
    > > Black Lava Sea Salt. Cheers, Rox

    >
    >
    > <snip blurb>
    >
    > It's quite amazing how much work and processing went into this 'natural'
    > sea salt isn't it?

    ========================
    Don't knock special sea salts until you've tried them. I can vouch
    for Fleur de Sel from Camargue, France.
    http://www.saltworks.us/shop/product.asp?idProduct=29
    The taste and texture is amazing. I keep dipping a finger in it just to
    enjoy the taste. It is a "finishing" salt--use on top of salads,
    cooked and raw vegetables, pasta, melons, corn on the cob, meats,, etc.
    It gives food a real lift-- just a delicious addition.
    Nancree
     
  15. "aem" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > rox formerly rmg wrote:
    > >
    > > Sorry, just posting what they say about their process. I was excited to

    find
    > > out after doing some searching and reading and after enjoying the salt.

    This
    > > is a cooking newsgroup after all :) I agree it's definitely directly

    from
    > > their marketing materials, but it's good. People are actually interested

    in
    > > "gourmet" and specialty salts these days, and everyone seems to have a
    > > schpiel. [snip]

    >
    > Oh, I didn't mean to imply that the salt itself is not a good find.
    > It's just that these unverifiable New Age kind of 'health' claims for
    > an endless list of things turn my stomach. Things can still be good,
    > in spite of their marketing.... -aem
    >


    I understand. The "multi-step technology" part did get my head spinning. The
    salt was 4 bucks for about 1/2 pound. I may try the pink stuff sold
    along-side it and see if there's an appreciable difference, or
    "appreciateable." - Rox

    " While making Soul of the Sea®-our ultra-premium, Star Diamond
    Award-winning, gourmet Hawaiian sea salts-an extraordinary, mineral-rich
    tonic we call Ocean EssenceT is produced. We carefully blend this pure,
    unaltered, super-concentrated fluid into the Pacific Ocean salt through our
    proprietary multi-step technology, thus restoring natural flavor
    complexities and trace minerals, which are lost in the heating process. "
     
  16. On Wed, 04 Jan 2006 04:10:51 GMT, "rox formerly rmg"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    >"aem" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >news:[email protected]
    >>
    >> rox formerly rmg wrote:

    snipped....
    >> Oh, I didn't mean to imply that the salt itself is not a good find.
    >> It's just that these unverifiable New Age kind of 'health' claims

    for
    >> an endless list of things turn my stomach. Things can still be

    good,
    >> in spite of their marketing.... -aem
    >>

    >
    >I understand. The "multi-step technology" part did get my head

    spinning. The
    >salt was 4 bucks for about 1/2 pound. I may try the pink stuff sold
    >along-side it and see if there's an appreciable difference, or
    >"appreciateable." - Rox
    >
    >" While making Soul of the Sea®-our ultra-premium, Star Diamond
    >Award-winning, gourmet Hawaiian sea salts-an extraordinary,

    mineral-rich
    >tonic we call Ocean EssenceT is produced. We carefully blend this

    pure,
    >unaltered, super-concentrated fluid into the Pacific Ocean salt

    through our
    >proprietary multi-step technology, thus restoring natural flavor
    >complexities and trace minerals, which are lost in the heating

    process. "
    >
    >
    >


    Hmm, that was an interesting description. I dare say, the pink stuff,
    is probably much more natural. As I said before, the regular rock
    salt we use in Hawaii, is called Alae. (It's proper Hawaiian spelling
    would be Alaea and literally means "salt that was treated with
    red/ocherous earth".)

    Rock salt is part of our culture and not something weird. Hawaiians
    used salt to preserve their food when there was no refrigeration. The
    ocean waves splash up on rocks, and the Hawaiians made little divots
    in the rocks to collect that salt water and then when the water dried
    out, they were left with the salt.

    aloha, Thunder
    smithfarms.com
    Farmers of 100% Kona Coffee
    & other Great Stuff
     
  17. Shaun aRe

    Shaun aRe Guest

    "rox formerly rmg" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:fVHuf.47040$q%[email protected]

    > " While making Soul of the Sea®-our ultra-premium, Star Diamond
    > Award-winning, gourmet Hawaiian sea salts-an extraordinary, mineral-rich
    > tonic we call Ocean EssenceT is produced. We carefully blend this pure,
    > unaltered, super-concentrated fluid into the Pacific Ocean salt through

    our
    > proprietary multi-step technology, thus restoring natural flavor
    > complexities and trace minerals, which are lost in the heating process. "


    Heheheh, so, they are saying they remove these 'impurities' by heating, then
    add them back afterwards, only now they are 'natural flavour complexities
    and trace minerals'?!?!? WHEN WILL THE MADNESS END, ARRRGGGHHHH!!!!!!!

    ',;~}~


    Cheers,


    Shaun aRe
     
  18. Arri London

    Arri London Guest

    nancree wrote:
    >
    > Arri London wrote:
    > > rox formerly rmg wrote:
    > > >
    > > > "rox formerly rmg" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > > > news:[email protected]
    > > > > I bought some "Black Sea Salt" in a large chain specialty food store here
    > > > in
    > > > > San Francisco. Tasted it and it's pretty good, but the grains are all
    > > >
    > > > Thanks for all the perspective on my question about the black salt I
    > > > purchased. Here's the response I got from the store. My salt is Palm Island
    > > > Black Lava Sea Salt. Cheers, Rox

    > >
    > >
    > > <snip blurb>
    > >
    > > It's quite amazing how much work and processing went into this 'natural'
    > > sea salt isn't it?

    > ========================
    > Don't knock special sea salts until you've tried them. I can vouch
    > for Fleur de Sel from Camargue, France.
    > http://www.saltworks.us/shop/product.asp?idProduct=29
    > The taste and texture is amazing. I keep dipping a finger in it just to
    > enjoy the taste. It is a "finishing" salt--use on top of salads,
    > cooked and raw vegetables, pasta, melons, corn on the cob, meats,, etc.
    > It gives food a real lift-- just a delicious addition.
    > Nancree


    Wasn't knocking it; however did you read that into my reply? And yes
    everyone knows what fleur de sel is. That is much more 'natural' than
    all the processing and coating that goes into making the black lava
    salt.
     
  19. Arri London wrote:
    > nancree wrote:
    > > Don't knock special sea salts until you've tried them. I can vouch
    > > for Fleur de Sel from Camargue, France.
    > > http://www.saltworks.us/shop/product.asp?idProduct=29
    > > The taste and texture is amazing. I keep dipping a finger in it just to
    > > enjoy the taste. It is a "finishing" salt--use on top of salads,
    > > cooked and raw vegetables, pasta, melons, corn on the cob, meats,, etc.
    > > It gives food a real lift-- just a delicious addition.
    > > Nancree

    >
    > Wasn't knocking it; however did you read that into my reply? And yes
    > everyone knows what fleur de sel is. That is much more 'natural' than
    > all the processing and coating that goes into making the black lava
    > salt.



    This thread cracks me up! Kinda makes one want to bring out the old
    chestnut: "P. T. Barnum was right!" But, if you feel you're getting
    your money's worth, it's not my problem. This thread did inspire to
    walk into my kitchen and taste the 3 salts currently in my cupboard.
    They are: sea salt from Trapani, Sicily; sea salt from Scammon's
    Lagoon, B.C., Mexico; Diamond Crystal (Cargill) canning salt, USA. They
    all taste like sodium chloride and nothing else. There is a different
    feeling on the tongue though, as all 3 salt crystals have a different
    size and shape. But as for other flavor nuances which would be picked
    up by olfactory senses; nothing. The intensity of the Na Cl flavor did
    vary with the Trapani from the Mediterranean being the strongest.
    Again, I say, if you don't mind paying for your favorite salt, it's not
    for me to criticize. I just want to say to folks who are starting to
    explore salt to start with the cheapest and work up (Just like with
    wine). You can get reasonably priced kosher salt from Diamond Crystal
    and Morton's at most supermarkets and you will be able to experience
    the differences in texture.
    Enjoy-
    D.M.
     
Loading...