Salt: Essential for Health, Delicious for Food

There are many spices that people use to make their foods taste better, but salt, which is used in most all recipes, is not only a flavor enhancer but is an essential part of life as no one can live without it. Both animal and plant life need salt to survive but be advised that it can be harmful if taken in excess. Salt has been a crucial method of food preservation for centuries and is one of the most-often used food seasonings in households and restaurants alike. 

While not many individuals know the difference between table salt or sea salt, one will notice the enhanced flavor when sea salt is introduced to your meal. Exotic salts, such as sea salt, are becoming more in demand by chefs and home gourmets as they look to add flavorful nuances to their culinary offerings. The ways in which you use sea salt in your recipes are as limitless as the gourmet cooks’ imagination. 

O&CO. offers Fleur de sel (which means flower of the salt) sea salts from Portugal. This type of salt is collected by hand by workers that gather only the top layer of salt. It is hand-harvested before it sinks to the bottom of the large salt pans. The fleur de sel is an artisanal food seasoning and because of the complexity of hand-gathering and its relative scarcity, the salt is one of the most expensive but most enjoyed.

The sea salt offered by O&CO. which is one of the world’s finest, is harvested by hand from the salt marshes of Rio Formosa national park, an ecologically-protected park in the Algarve region of Portugal. Hand-harvested and sun dried, according to local tradition, the naturally moist fleur de sel is dense in minerals. This sea salt can be sprinkled over food prior to serving and its delicate crystals will meld with the flavors of your dish.

Unlike table salt, fleur de sel is usually grey in hue because of the sand that is collected during the harvesting of the salt. Occasionally the salt has a tinge of pink which comes from a microalgae found in the salt marshes. Both home cooks and gourmet chefs are embracing the exotic salts because of the way they spice up all culinary creations and please the palate.

When using table salt, your body reacts to it as if it were a foreign object and puts up an interior protection; the way it does this is by retaining water around your body’s cells to protect it from what it considers an unnatural substance. Rather than absorbing table salt, your body works to eliminate it which means your body is working so hard to rid itself of it that it isn’t properly using the salt for renewal and regeneration. Why does this matter? When you use and cook with sea salt, your body recognizes the vital minerals the sea salt brings and allows your body’s cells to effectively utilize them, adding to hydration and energy.

It’s likely that when you’re using high quality sea salts such as those offered by O&CO. you’re not thinking of how it’s helping your body, but how it’s enhancing the flavor of the foods you’re serving, and that is truly the bottom line to good taste.