Salt, also known as sodium chloride, plays a crucial role in maintaining various bodily functions and is essential for human health. Some reasons salt is important in your diet are:
- Electrolyte Balance Salt is a primary source of sodium, which is an electrolyte responsible for maintaining fluid balance in the body. Sodium ions help regulate the amount of water inside and outside cells, ensuring proper hydration and enabling the transmission of nerve impulses.
- Fluid Balance Sodium helps regulate blood volume and blood pressure. It works in conjunction with other electrolytes like potassium to maintain the balance of fluids in and around cells. Adequate salt intake can prevent dehydration and support proper circulation.
- Nerve Function Sodium plays a vital role in nerve signaling and muscle contraction. It helps generate electrical impulses that enable communication between nerves and muscles. Without sufficient sodium, nerve function may be compromised, leading to muscle cramps and weakness.
- Nutrient Absorption Salt is essential for the absorption of certain nutrients in the small intestine. It helps transport glucose and amino acids into cells, facilitating their uptake and utilization for energy production and tissue repair.
Why Finishing Salt?
Finishing salt is a type of salt that is typically added as a final touch to a dish just before serving. It is used to enhance the flavor, texture, and visual appeal of the food. Finishing salts are often made from larger, coarser salt crystals and come in various forms and flavors. Fleur de Sel, Maldon, Himalayan Pink.Smoked and Truffle are all finishing salts, and act to transform what we eat, in the following ways.
As you well know, salt enhances the taste and flavor of food by amplify the impact of other flavor-enhancing ingredients. Additionally, salt synergistically works with other herbs, spices, and seasonings, intensifying their flavors and making them more prominent in the dish. But finishing salt, especially, has the ability to make whatever it is you eat, better. From eggs to ice cream (yup!) the size of the salt crystals, as well as how the salt is processed, interacts with taste buds on the tongue, specifically the salty taste receptors, amplifying the overall flavor.
Finishing salt can also enhance the aroma of food. By interacting with volatile compounds released by food, salt allows food's aroma to reach the olfactory receptors in the nose more effectively. This can result in a heightened perception of not only its aroma, but contributes to the overall flavor experience.
Finishing salt can impact the texture and mouthfeel of food by improving the juiciness, tenderness, and overall palatability of ingredients. The presence of salt can also stimulate saliva production, which aids in the breakdown of food and enhances the perception of flavors.
WAYS TO USE FINISHING SALT
Finishing salts can be used in various ways to add a final touch of flavor, texture, and visual appeal to dishes. At Boketto we carry Umami Salt finishing salts, in both their Original Shiitake flavor and Black Garlic. Here are some common ways to use finishing salt:
Sprinkling on Prepared Dishes The most straightforward way to use finishing salt is to sprinkle it directly on top of prepared dishes just before serving. This can be done with salads, roasted vegetables, grilled meats, fish, pasta, soups, or even chocolate. The salt crystals add a delightful crunch and enhance the overall flavor profile of the dish.
Rimming Glasses Finishing salt can be used to rim glasses for cocktails or beverages. Wet the rim of the glass with a slice of citrus fruit, such as lime or lemon, and then dip it into a plate of finishing salt. This works particularly well with margaritas, Bloody Marys, or other (mock)tails that benefit from a hint of saltiness.
Finishing Baked Goods Finishing salts can be used to enhance the flavors of baked goods like cookies, brownies, or bread. Sprinkle a small amount of salt on top of the dough or batter just before baking. The salt crystals will create a contrast of flavors, balancing the sweetness and adding an interesting twist.
Topping Chocolate or Caramel When working with chocolate or caramel-based desserts, you can sprinkle a pinch of finishing salt on top of the melted or cooled surface. The salt provides a contrast to the richness and sweetness of the dessert, elevating the flavor profile.
Seasoning Fresh Fruit Finishing salt can enhance the natural sweetness and flavors of fresh fruit. Sprinkle a small amount on fruits like watermelon, mango, pineapple, or citrus slices. The salt accentuates the sweetness and adds a savory element, creating a delightful flavor combination.
Remember, finishing salts are typically used sparingly, as their larger crystals and unique flavors are meant to be enjoyed in moderation. Start with a small amount and adjust to your taste preferences. Experimenting with different types of finishing salts can provide unique flavor profiles and enhance a wide range of dishes.