The salt, an unique ingredient
When thinking about exotic cuisines with worldwide flavor, spices or herbs appear to the surface. But, what about salt?
Despite salt's central role in humanity's gastronomy, most people ignore it for their daily dishes. All they are used to find in most of the ordinary supermarkets is the typical white table salt.
Today, we will give this unique ingredient in our portfolio the appreciation it deserves and tell you more about the different types of salts you can find with us.
Yes, they are more than you know, and they are all delicious.
Where it all started.
If you are a regular on our blog and a faithful customer, you already know how important it is to us the origin of our products.
That is why we want to start with the beginning of the relationship between humans and salt. Like you learned in our first post about spices, salt also dates back to many centuries ago.
It is most important to realize that salt is one of the discoveries that helped civilizations occur. Spices were essential too, and many expensive trading happened thanks to spices.
But salt, on the other hand, was the main character in the development of cities. Salt allowed us to preserve food for more significant periods. That meant we could transport food over large distances and mostly eliminate our dependency on the seasonal availability of food.
Salt was also used for seasoning, but the ability to preserve food and the difficulty to obtain it were the main factors of salt's high trading value.
Many empires rose and perished due to salt. The city that managed the salt trading could grow to become a kingdom, and the same lose it all if any other town discovered a better one.
That's the case in Poland. The salt mines of Poland led to a vast kingdom in the 16th century, only to be demolished when Germans brought in sea salt (which most of the world considered superior to rock salt).
Cities, states, and duchies along the salt roads exacted heavy duties and taxes for the salt passing through their territories. This practice even caused the formation of cities, such as the city of Munich in 1158.
In American history, salt has been a significant factor in the outcomes of wars. In the Revolutionary War, Loyalists intercepted Patriot salt shipments to interfere with their ability to preserve food.
Monopolies over salt production and trade were essential aspects of government revenue in imperial China and retained their significance until the 20th century.
During modern times, it became more profitable to sell salty food than pure salt. Thus sources of food to salt went hand in hand with salt making.
Today we have fridges and refrigerators, so the salt role has come down to merely seasoning dishes and is significantly more affordable than at those times. But we couldn't get to this point without using salt to preserve our foods in ancient ages and countries' economic dependency mostly on spices, including salt.
Production of salt
On an industrial scale, salt is produced in two principal ways: the evaporation of saltwater (brine) or mining. Evaporation can either be solar evaporation or using some heating device.
Salt mining extracts natural salt deposits from underground. Before the advent of the modern internal combustion engine and earth-moving equipment, mining salt was one of the most expensive and dangerous of operations because of rapid dehydration caused by constant contact with the salt (both in the mine passages and scattered in the air as salt dust) and of other problems caused by accidental excessive sodium intake.
Salt is now plentiful, but until the Industrial Revolution, it was difficult to come by, and slaves or prisoners often mined salt. Life expectancy for the salt miners was low.
What is salt?
Salt is an ionic compound made of sodium (Na) and chloride (Cl) ions, known by its chemical formula (NaCl). All life —vegetative, animal, and human— has evolved to depend on those chemicals' properties to survive.
Salt comes from two primary sources: seawater and the sodium chloride mineral halite (also known as rock salt). Rock salt occurs in vast beds of sedimentary evaporite minerals that result from the drying up of enclosed lakes, playas, and seas.
That means there are many salt deposits worldwide, mixed with the natural minerals of the area, influencing that way the properties and the flavor.
We offer you salt.
Himalayan pink salt has become quite famous in the last few years but is not the only exotic salt. In TVT, you can find several types, such as Kala Namak salt from India or the Coarse Sel Gris from France.
If you are looking for a house quality salt, Fleur De Sel (France) must be your choice. Known as the caviar of salts by chefs worldwide, it is the ideal finishing salt choice for fine foods used by cooks worldwide and sought by consumers everywhere, gathered by hand using traditional wooden tools in the centuries-old methods.
On the other hand, directly from the US, you can order our Red Alaea Fine Salt, a gourmet salt produced in Hawaii according to its traditional methods. You can use it as a table salt due to its fine granules. Dried in the sun and mixed with a small quantity of red Alaea clay, beautiful red-ish color, and the fantastic flavor is perfect for grilled meat.
But if you are looking for a more intense gastronomic experience, Black Lava Sal Coarse is what you need. The Black Lava Sea Salt directly from the US adds an incredibly smoky flavor to meat, chicken, seafood, eggs, and vegetable dishes. With its stunning black color and silky texture (reminiscent of Hawaii's black lava sand beaches), this salt goes with everything and is perfect for livening up any plate. That's what makes it so perfect for garnish.
So, what flavor are you looking for? Make your day a little salty and place now your next order of these salts or any spice, herbs, lentils, and superfood you can find in our catalog.