Read The New York Times report here!
New authoritative study shows health benefits of salt!
Read The New York Times report here!
Chili Verde Salt Recipe Contest for the Salt Cellar
By: Chef Nathan Christy
Fresh Tomato Chili Verde Soup with Chili Verde Salted Croutons
Ingredients: 3 lb fresh roma tomatoes 1Tbs & 1tsp fresh garlic, finely chopped 1 small onion, chopped 4 scallions, chopped olive oil 2 cups of veg stock Chili Verde Salt 2 Cups 1/4” cubed homemade bread zest from 1/2 a lemon a handful of baby arugula (optional) sour cream (optional)
1. Preheat Oven to 370* 2. Peel Tomatoes by scoring skin in quarters with knife, removing stem and placing into
boiling water for approximately 60 seconds, until skins begin to separate from fruit. Immediately place into an ice bath to shock the tomatoes and stop the cooking process. Remove skins.
3. Deseed the tomatoes by quartering and then carefully removing the seeds into chinois over your bowl, which allows you to save the juice and fruit.
4. Sweat 1 onion, the white bulbs of 4 scallions, 1 Tbs garlic, 1/4 tsp of Chili Verde Salt and a pinch of pepper on low heat in a stock pot for about 8 minutes.
5. Add tomatoes to the stock pot. 6. Increase the heat to medium. 7. Add one cup of veg stock and a pinch of dry herbs- whatever you like will work great,
I suggest oregano, parsley and basil. (I grow and my own herbs, so on hand I used a
blend of lovage, sage, oregano, basil, and thyme.) 8. Simmer your tomatoes until cooked thoroughly and breaking down. This takes about
12-15 minutes. 9. While your soup is cooking, add your bread cubes to a hot sautee pan on high heat.
with enough olive oil to cover the base of the pan. Add a pinch of pepper and Chili Verde Salt. Lightly sautee until your bread is covered in olive oil and beginning to crisp up.
10.Put your sautee pan with your croutons right into the oven and toast for 8-10 minutes. They’ll become golden brown.
11.Use a hand mixer or a blender to process soup until smooth. Adjust the flavors to your liking.
12.Once your croutons are toasted and still hot in the sautee pan, add 1 tsp of fresh garlic and lemon zest. Lightly toss together. If you like, you can add a dash more of the Chili Verde Salt.
13.Plate your soup in a bowl, finish with a dollop of sour cream, croutons, scallion greens, baby arugula and a sprinkle of Chili Verde Salt.
Note: This soup is vegan friendly if you opt out of the sour cream.
This recipe was inspiration for me to create a menu featuring the Chili Verde Salt. I plan to use this menu below at my next dinner party.
Fresh Tomato Chili Verde Soup with Chili Verde Salted Croutons
Pan Sear Scallops crusted with Chili Verde Salt on a White Bean Puree with a Jicama, Scallion and Red Pepper Slaw with a Champagne Chili Verde Vinaigrette garnished with fresh Cilantro
Chocolate Chili Verde Creme Brûlée topped with Candied Cocoa Habenero Chili Pepper Strands
Spice blends, salads, meats, seafood, sauces/soups, drink rimmer.
We would love to hear your Black Lava recipies, suggestions, and tips and share them here. Also, please send us photos of your creations!
We found this recipe on InGoodTasteStore.com
Turkey sandwiches, scrabbled eggs, sausage, and pork. Versatile salt that can give a rich smokey flavor to anything it touches.
We would love to hear your Applewood Smoked recipies, suggestions, and tips and share them here. Also, please send us photos of your creations!
Cooking Meats and Fish With Smoked Salt
(found on eHow.com written by Melissa Gagnon, eHow Contributor)
Kalua Pig, Hawaiian Jerky and Poke. Consider use with prime rib, mexican foods, salsa, fish and rice.
We would love to hear your Alaea Hawaiian recipies, suggestions, and tips and share them here. Also, please send us photos of your creations!
This recipe was found at www.alohafriends.com.
coffee, salads, meats, seafood, sauces and soups.
We would love to hear your Aguni recipies, suggestions, and tips and share them here. Also, please send us photos of your creations!
The Secret Ingredient for Perfect Coffee: SALT?
This article is by Tucker Cummings at Yahoo Voices
Coffee is "the best part of waking up", and the best after-dinner drink to pair with a decadent chocolate dessert. But for many, coffee has a dark side. In many cases, the culprit is the acid level of the coffee. Acidity is defined as the characteristic of coffee that gives it a tart or bright taste. Generally, dark roasted beans have less acidity. The amount of acidity in a coffee bean can also be influenced by growing conditions. For example, Low-acid coffees are a growing segment of the coffee market. But what's a discerning gourmet to do when they crave their favorite coffee, but literally can't stomach the acidity? The answer may surprise you: just add a single spoonful of salt.
To be specific, the gourmet variety of salt known as Aguni salt. Collected near the Aguni Islands in Japan, this type of salt is unique because it can significantly lower the acidity of a cup of coffee. Used at a number of high end restaurants, "salted coffee" is perhaps best known from the menu at Salt in SoHo. You don't need to add a lot of salt to each cup, just a small spoonful or even less will do.
Salted coffee has also enjoyed a brief period in vogue among discerning coffee addicts in Asia. Last year, a Thai coffee chain made headlines in the US media when it began serving a salted specialty coffee. The coffee, sold by chain "85°C", consists of a sweetened iced coffee, topped with a layer of creamy, salted foam.
So the next time you're feeling adventurous, why not skip the sugar and try some salt in your coffee instead? It'll be easier on your stomach, but keep in mind that if you have hypertension, you probably want to avoid the added salt in your diet.
Salt Cellar Feature in the "Instant Portland"
The feature below is taken directly from the Instant Portland blog published Dec. 6, 2012 by Anna S. (And we thank them for the wonderful feature!)
Newly opened in a subterranean space near Post Office Park, The Salt Cellar is a celebration of just one thing: the humble sodium chloride, the only rock that we eat on a regular basis. Modeled on their flagship store in Portsmouth, NH, and, in a larger sense, modeled after a specialty salt store that the co-owners visited in Europe, The Salt Cellar is a unique, surprising, and all together delightful shop.
While for many the primary draw of The Salt Cellar will be food-related, salt has many uses, not all of them culinary, and The Salt Cellar pays tribute to all of them. They have an extensive bath and spa section, featuring a wide selection of body butters and salt soaks, mud masks and facial scrubs, salt soaks and aftershave, and a black mud shampoo. This fits well with the overall spa-like feeling of the space, largely due to the warmth of the light, which is filtered through hundreds of pink Himalayan salt blocks.
(Shop co-owner Don Tydeman told me that the lamp pictured above is probably the largest salt lamp in the world. They needed to pour a special cement footing for it just to put it in the shop. Unfortunately, its not for sale, though I’m sure it would make quite a conversation piece.)
But, what with Portland being a foodie town, it is the wall of finishing salts that most will come to try, and it does not disapoint. Carefully labled with suggested uses (and sometimes warnings — you should, for example, believe the note on the Ghost Pepper salt that says that it is HOT), the salts are lined up like works of art in an orderly display, spotlighted, each with a tester so you can shake a few flakes into your palm and sample them. (There is also a thoughfully placed water bubbler nearby, should you find yourself a little oversalted.) It is the samples that turn this from just a display into a sort of a playground.
From the aforementioned Ghost Pepper to a beautiful Merlot salt through Black Truffle and the earthy Cyprus Black Lava and Fumee de Sel, The Salt Cellar offers finishing salts to complement any food (even desert). Trying the salts, one after the next, has the odd effect of leaving you feeling, in a way, as though you have just finished a thoughtfully constructed meal, with notes that are rich, tangy, spicy, sweet, and savory. It was great fun to watch the interaction between the various groups that were sampling salts, as patrons urged one another to try this salt or that one, and eagerly discussed the future meals that certain salts would be sure to complement.
We left with three salts (they’re $8 each or three for $20), and by happenstance the next stop on our walk around town ended up being Five Guys Burgers, where we broke out the Roasted Garlic salt we’d just purchased and gave our fries a little kick. I’m pleased to report that even a modest pinch of this salt transformed the (already award winning) fries and even my six year old son pronounced the enhanced taste “really super good.”
Finally, as if all that were not enough, they also sell salt blocks for cooking or food presentation, along with these pink salt shot glasses. As they sign notes, “additional salting” of your tequila “not required”.
I’m not sure what I was expecting as I walked down those steps, but I can assure you that The Salt Cellar is one of the most interesting shops I’ve seen open in Portland in some time. They strike exactly the right balance between specialty food store and gift shop, and have managed to find a way to appeal to two of Portland’s great passions: food and and spa-like pampering. I don’t think it would be a stretch to say that you just might be able to find a gift for every single member of your family in a single stop at The Salt Cellar. So stop in. I think you’ll walk away with a new appreciation for the humble salt and all it’s varied uses.
It’s Yankee Swap season in many offices across the country. You could re-gift that expired fruit cake that has been re-gifted for several years now OR shop at the Salt Cellar and give the gift that will have everyone in the workplace wishing they picked #1!
The typical Yankee Swap budget is $20. Here are a few ideas for you to consider:
Himalayan Bath Soak
$9/each…BUY TWO! (we have several different fragrances including Dead Sea, Lavender, Lemon, and more!
Himalayan Salt “Shot Glasses”
Himalayan Salt Lamp
June 2, 2012
Salt, We Misjudged You
By GARY TAUBES
THE first time I questioned the conventional wisdom on the nature of a healthy diet, I was in my salad days, almost 40 years ago, and the subject was salt. Researchers were claiming that salt supplementation was unnecessary after strenuous exercise, and this advice was being passed on by health reporters. All I knew was that I had played high school football in suburban Maryland, sweating profusely through double sessions in the swamplike 90-degree days of August. Without salt pills, I couldn’t make it through a two-hour practice; I couldn’t walk across the parking lot afterward without cramping.
While sports nutritionists have since come around to recommend that we should indeed replenish salt when we sweat it out in physical activity, the message that we should avoid salt at all other times remains strong. Salt consumption is said to raise blood pressure, cause hypertension and increase the risk of premature death. This is why the Department of Agriculture’s dietary guidelines still consider salt Public Enemy No. 1, coming before fats, sugars and alcohol. It’s why the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has suggested that reducing salt consumption is as critical to long-term health as quitting cigarettes.
And yet, this eat-less-salt argument has been surprisingly controversial — and difficult to defend. Not because the food industry opposes it, but because the actual evidence to support it has always been so weak.
When I spent the better part of a year researching the state of the salt science back in 1998 — already a quarter century into the eat-less-salt recommendations — journal editors and public health administrators were still remarkably candid in their assessment of how flimsy the evidence was implicating salt as the cause of hypertension.
“You can say without any shadow of a doubt,” as I was told then by Drummond Rennie, an editor for The Journal of the American Medical Association, that the authorities pushing the eat-less-salt message had “made a commitment to salt education that goesway beyond the scientific facts.”
While, back then, the evidence merely failed to demonstrate that salt was harmful, the evidence from studies published over the past two years actually suggests that restricting how much salt we eat can increase our likelihood of dying prematurely. Put simply, the possibility has been raised that if we were to eat as little salt as the U.S.D.A. and the C.D.C. recommend, we’d be harming rather than helping ourselves.
WHY have we been told that salt is so deadly? Well, the advice has always sounded reasonable. It has what nutritionists like to call “biological plausibility.” Eat more salt and your body retains water to maintain a stable concentration of sodium in your blood. This is why eating salty food tends to make us thirsty: we drink more; we retain water. The result can be a temporary increase in blood pressure, which will persist until our kidneys eliminate both salt and water.
The scientific question is whether this temporary phenomenon translates to chronic problems: if we eat too much salt for years, does it raise our blood pressure, cause hypertension, then strokes, and then kill us prematurely? It makes sense, but it’s only a hypothesis. The reason scientists do experiments is to find out if hypotheses are true.
In 1972, when the National Institutes of Health introduced the National High Blood Pressure Education Program to help prevent hypertension, no meaningful experiments had yet been done. The best evidence on the connection between salt and hypertension came from two pieces of research. One was the observation that populations that ate little salt had virtually no hypertension. But those populations didn’t eat a lot of things — sugar, for instance — and any one of those could have been the causal factor. The second was a strain of “salt-sensitive” rats that reliably developed hypertension on a high-salt diet. The catch was that “high salt” to these rats was 60 times more than what the average American consumes.
Still, the program was founded to help prevent hypertension, and prevention programs require preventive measures to recommend. Eating less salt seemed to be the only available option at the time, short of losing weight. Although researchers quietly acknowledged that the data were “inconclusive and contradictory” or “inconsistent and contradictory” — two quotes from the cardiologist Jeremiah Stamler, a leading proponent of the eat-less-salt campaign, in 1967 and 1981 — publicly, the link between salt and blood pressure was upgraded from hypothesis to fact.
In the years since, the N.I.H. has spent enormous sums of money on studies to test the
hypothesis, and those studies have singularly failed to make the evidence any more conclusive. Instead, the organizations advocating salt restriction today — the U.S.D.A., the Institute of Medicine, the C.D.C. and the N.I.H. — all essentially rely on the results from a 30-day trial of salt, the 2001 DASH-Sodium study. It suggested that eating significantly less salt would modestly lower blood pressure; it said nothing about whether this would reduce hypertension, prevent heart disease or lengthen life.
While influential, that trial was just one of many. When researchers have looked at all the relevant trials and tried to make sense of them, they’ve continued to support Dr. Stamler’s “inconsistent and contradictory” assessment. Last year, two such “meta- analyses” were published by the Cochrane Collaboration, an international nonprofit organization founded to conduct unbiased reviews of medical evidence. The first of the two reviews concluded that cutting back “the amount of salt eaten reduces blood pressure, but there is insufficient evidence to confirm the predicted reductions in people dying prematurely or suffering cardiovascular disease.” The second concluded that “we do not know if low salt diets improve or worsen health outcomes.”
The idea that eating less salt can worsen health outcomes may sound bizarre, but it also has biological plausibility and is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, too. A 1972 paper in The New England Journal of Medicine reported that the less salt people ate, the higher their levels of a substance secreted by the kidneys, called renin, which set off a physiological cascade of events that seemed to end with an increased risk of heart disease. In this scenario: eat less salt, secrete more renin, get heart disease, die prematurely.
With nearly everyone focused on the supposed benefits of salt restriction, little research was done to look at the potential dangers. But four years ago, Italian researchers began publishing the results from a series of clinical trials, all of which reported that, among patients with heart failure, reducing salt consumption increased the risk of death.
Those trials have been followed by a slew of studies suggesting that reducing sodium to anything like what government policy refers to as a “safe upper limit” is likely to do more harm than good. These covered some 100,000 people in more than 30 countries and showed that salt consumption is remarkably stable among populations over time. In the United States, for instance, it has remained constant for the last 50 years, despite 40 years of the eat-less-salt message. The average salt intake in these populations — what could be called the normal salt intake — was one and a half teaspoons a day, almost 50 percent above what federal agencies consider a safe upper limit for healthy Americans under 50, and more than double what the policy advises for those who aren’t
so young or healthy. This consistency, between populations and over time, suggests that how much salt we eat is determined by physiological demands, not diet choices.
One could still argue that all these people should reduce their salt intake to prevent hypertension, except for the fact that four of these studies — involving Type 1 diabetics, Type 2 diabetics, healthy Europeans and patients with chronic heart failure — reported that the people eating salt at the lower limit of normal were more likely to have heart disease than those eating smack in the middle of the normal range. Effectively what the 1972 paper would have predicted.
Proponents of the eat-less-salt campaign tend to deal with this contradictory evidence by implying that anyone raising it is a shill for the food industry and doesn’t care about saving lives. An N.I.H. administrator told me back in 1998 that to publicly question the science on salt was to play into the hands of the industry. “As long as there are things in the media that say the salt controversy continues,” he said, “they win.”
When several agencies, including the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration, held a hearing last November to discuss how to go about getting Americans to eat less salt (as opposed to whether or not we should eat less salt), these proponents argued that the latest reports suggesting damage from lower-salt diets should simply be ignored. Lawrence Appel, an epidemiologist and a co-author of the DASH-Sodium trial, said “there is nothing really new.” According to the cardiologist Graham MacGregor, who has been promoting low-salt diets since the 1980s, the studies were no more than “a minor irritation that causes us a bit of aggravation.”
This attitude that studies that go against prevailing beliefs should be ignored on the basis that, well, they go against prevailing beliefs, has been the norm for the anti-salt campaign for decades. Maybe now the prevailing beliefs should be changed. The British scientist and educator Thomas Huxley, known as Darwin’s bulldog for his advocacy of evolution, may have put it best back in 1860. “My business,” he wrote, “is to teach my aspirations to conform themselves to fact, not to try and make facts harmonize with my aspirations.”
A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Independent Investigator in Health Policy Research and the author of “Why We Get Fat.”
When we opened the Salt Cellar in November of 2011 we knew we were in for some surprises. One thing we learned was that a large number of people, upon seeing our salt tasting room, would blurt with enthusiasm "I really love salt!" We hear these same exclamations nearly every day but have never understood why some people have such a powerful affinity for salt. Until now.
In a study conducted by Penn State University and published in the journal Psychology & Behavior they discovered that about 1 in 4 people is a 'supertaster'. In short, a supertaster is genetically enabled with taste sensitivity that may be 10 to 100 times more acute than others. In other words some folks will get a very powerful reaction to tastes that others will not. They did note that supertasters tended not to like foods that were identified as bitter in taste like broccoli or some cheeses. Applying salt to bitter tasting food effectively masks the bitterness and makes the food more enjoyable. While some people react mildly to a slightly bitter taste a supertaster gets a powerful negative reaction. You can read more about supertasters at this Science Daily article.
So if your child is a chronic picky-eater it just may be she or he is a super taster (and a salt lover)!