Gourmet Food Salts
How are flavours added to the Gourmet Salt Range?
All the food salts in our range are made from natural sea salt, with the exception of Himalayan Pink Salt which is a rock salt (which is actually also an ancient sea salt!). All contain their natural trace elements. Our gourmet flavoured salts are more than just a blend of ingredients. The flavour is bound to the sea salt crystals in a unique process. The result is a salt that is more impactful on the palate, and has better aroma, than just a dry mix of seasonings. The process is 100% natural, and we only use natural ingredients. So our Roasted Garlic Salt contains only Sea Salt and Garlic, and our Vintage Merlot Salt is just Sea Salt and Red Wine!
Why are salt flakes and crystals different sizes and colours?
Sea Salt is harvested from evaporated sea water and is therefore unrefined and coarser in appearance to regular table salt. Himalayan Pink Salt is a rock salt, harvested in large pieces which is then broken into Coarse or Fine grain sizes. The pink colour is caused by the many minerals found in this salt. Other salts are slightly grey in colour – for example as Sel Gris is harvested, it comes in contact with the bottom of the salt pan, increasing the mineral content and causing the grey colour. Flavoured salts often take on colour from the ingredients that are added to them, for example the rich red of our Vintage Merlot Salt, or the green of our Matcha Green Tea Salt. Fleur de Sel, also known as The Queen of Salts, has delicate, flower shaped crystals that are formed on the surface of sea water as it evaporates.
How to use gourmet salts for cooking and finishing?
Salt is one of the basic flavours that human’s taste, and therefore very important in cooking. It can also enhance other flavours, such as sweet, sour and umami, and can curb bitterness. Salt can be added during the cooking process, or used as a finishing salt, after cooking is completed.
Our gourmet salts are available in a variety of textures. Large grained salts add a strong, crunchy salty note when used as a finishing salt. Or they can be used in grinders if a finer texture is required. Smaller grained salts are useful for a more delicate salty addition, or a great used in cooking as they dissolve easily.
Many flavoured salts are effective as a finishing salt due to their colour and aroma. Add Truffle Salt to potatoes, use Black Lava Salt on the rim of a cocktail glass or sprinkle Vintage Merlot Salt on the surrounding white plate.
What are the different types of bath salts?
There are many different types of bath salts. Most are natural minerals that are sourced from the ground. Himalayan Salt is a rock salt (an ancient Sea Salt) that has high mineral content (hence its pink colour). Epsom Salts are Magnesium Sulphate. Natural Epsom Salts are sourced from an ancient deposit in Germany. Magnesium Flakes (Magnesium Chloride) is also sourced from northern Europe from an ancient deposit formed millions of years ago. Dead Sea salts are a particularly mineral rich sea salt that is specific to Dead Sea. All the Bath Salts ranged by The Salt Box are natural, and sustainably sourced, however many other brands available are artificially manufactured in factories.
Why should I use bath salts?
The benefits of bathing in a salt bath are many and varied, but overall it is about improving your wellness. Bath salts have long been regarded as an effective way of pampering skin, with long lasting hydrating benefits for dry skin conditions. Dead Sea Salts and Himalayan Pink Salt contain many trace minerals, and Magnesium Flakes and Epsom Salt are high in Magnesium.
Are all bath salts natural?
No. All the bath salts ranged at The Salt Box are 100% natural, and sustainably sourced from authentic locations around the world. We only source salts of the highest quality which do not require cleaning. However, many brands of Epsom Salt are artificially manufactured in factories. Some bath salts of lower quality are cleaned using non-natural methods.
Can you mix different bath salts together?
Yes. Bath salt can be mixed together to combine the benefits of more than one type of mineral salt. Why not try and blend your own bath salt soak, using Epsom Salt, Himalayan Pink Salt, Dead Sea Salt, and even our Hawaiian Black Salt with Activated Charcoal. Adding essential oils brings additional wellness benefits.
What is a Salt Block?
A Salt Block is a solid piece of Himalayan Pink Salt, harvested from the Himalayan mountains. A salt block can be used on a BBQ or stovetop, or in an oven, to cook foods. Or it can be used cold to cure meats, or as a presentation plate. When you use a salt block, your food will absorb a delicate crust of salt on its surface.
How do you use a Salt Block?
To cook on a salt block it must be heated very slowly, gradually increasing the temperature, until it is very hot (eg 220C). It can then be used to sear meats, seafood or vegetables.
Salt blocks can also be chilled to very low temperatures. They are then a pretty serving plate for cold seafood, sushi, meats or cheeses – adding a slightly salty crust to the food, as well as keeping the food cold.
Foods like gravlax and jerky can also be cured on a salt block
How to Care for a Salt Block
Salt blocks are easy to look after. Once the block is back to room temperature, simply scrub it with warm water (no detergent), dry it with a tea towel, and then leave it to completely air dry. Once completely dry, store in air tight packaging (eg plastic wrap).
What are Magnesium Flakes?
Magnesium Flakes are a naturally occurring compound called Magnesium Chloride. Magnesium Chloride naturally occurs in the ocean - Mg + Cl (2), which makes it a salt. Magnesium Chloride is also present in our bodies in the intercellular fluid. We source our Magnesium Flakes from the Zechstein source in Northern Europe. The brine (salty water) is drawn up from deep under the earth and then dried into flakes.
What is the difference between Magnesium Flakes and Epsom Salts?
Both these bath salts are naturally occurring, and both are sources of Magnesium, but they are actually different compounds. Magnesium Flakes are Magnesium Chloride and Epsom Salt is Magnesium Sulphate.
Why do we need to supplement Magnesium, and what is the best way?
There are many reasons why someone could be deficient in Magnesium. These include:
- Lower levels of Magnesium in our food due to farming practices and food processing techniques
- Many magnesium products (such as supplements) have poor bioavailability
- Common medications (eg for stomach acid and heartburn) increase excretion of magnesium from the body.
The best way to increase your Magnesium levels is by taking oral supplements PLUS through transdermal absorption (ie a Magnesium bath, or magnesium skin products). The most bioavailable oral supplement is Magnesium Citrate, however with a daily requirement of 400mg/day, this is not possible to get through oral supplement alone. Adding Magnesium baths, massages or sprays to your routine will ensure your Magnesium intake is adequate.
What is Magnesium Oil and can I make my own?
We do not recommend making your own Magnesium Oil. Magnesium Oil is the natural brine that is extracted from the Magnesium source, deep beneath the earth. Our Zechstein Magnesium Oil (or brine) is 100% natural and pure, and has a Magnesium Chloride concentration of 31%. After pumping the brine up to the surface, the product is bottled for sale as Zechstein Magnesium Oil.
To make Magnesium Flakes, we evaporate the water so that a solid flake is formed. Although this is a natural process, there is a slight chemical change to the product as the liquid dries to a solid. Therefore, if you combine water and flakes to make your own Magnesium Oil, you do not end up with the same brine (Magnesium Oil) that was extracted at the beginning of the process.