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Salt: A Culinary Exploration Event + WIN 1 of 2 copies of The Salt Book!

Submitted by on April 8, 2010 – 1:22 pm23 Comments

“Salt is flavour, Fat is flavour”

What I considered to be most important at this event was one thing: that salt is taken for granted. That’s right my friends. Salt does more than bring a dish to life- it keeps us alive by keeping our cells functioning. I was gleefully happy to be invited to The Salt Book launch at Kobe Jones to learn about the mystery, the proper use and consumption, the innovations as well as the many varieties of salt.

Salting_your_steakPhoto Credit: Arbon Publishing

What about Salt?

In terms of consumption, I have no exact idea as to how much salt is too much. I just know when to stop.  For adults, the Heart Foundation recommends no more than 1 and half teaspoons of refined table salt per day. However, what astounds me is that back in the 18th century Europeans consumed an average of 18 teaspoons a day. 18!

Not so surprising is that 75% of our salt intake comes from processed foods. Being somewhat of a junk food addict, I can personally attest to this fact. Despite food labeling standards require sodium content be listed,  in most cases, we cannot resist. Or am I speaking for myself?

Dr. Kest says, “the salt within processed food is invisible to both the tongue and the eye.” Take a loaf of bread for example. All breads contain levels of sodium chloride but the majority is invisible to the tongue.  Potassium can be used to lower sodium levels. Out of all the varieties, Sea Salt contains the highest amount of potassium- but it is still to be used in moderation.

youtube-icon Food Rehab TV: Dr Russell Keast from Deakin University talks about the history and the health  issues around salt

Did you know that there are 14,000 uses for salt?

Fritz Gubler spoke about the presentation and about being ‘salt wise.’ First rule of thumb is to throw away your salt shaker to get to know how salt feels and to add small increments when cooking to ensure we don’t under or over salt, tasting as we go.

youtube-icon Food Rehab TV: Fritz Gubler demonstrates how to use salt

Types of salt

There were so many varieties, so I will briefly give a blurb about my three favourites.

  1. Murray River Pink Salt
  2. Olssons Sea Salt
  3. Fleur De Sel De Guerande
  4. Himalayan Pink Salt
  5. Maldon Sea Salt
  6. Cyprus Black Sea Salt
  7. Hawiian Green Salt
  8. Cyprus Lemon Salt Flakes
  9. Tetsuya’s Truffle Salt
  10. Netherlands Smoked Salt (favourite)

Smoke clings to the surface of the salt crystals coating them with a rich, woody colour and smoky flavour. Perfect for seafood and barbecued meats.

11. Indian Black Volcanic Salt (favourite)

Also known as kala namak, it has a strong sulfuric flavour. Despite its name, it is actually light pink in colour. Great with citrus fruit, cucumber, lemonade and egg.


12. Halen Mon Vanilla Salt

13. Halen Mon Salted Lemon

14. Aniseed Salt

15. Tarragon Salt

16. Prik Kab Klua (chilli salt) – (favourite)

Whenever you buy a piece of fruit in Thailand, you would almost be guaranteed to be given a sachet of this stuff. When blended with sugar and chili, sprinkled over pineapple- amazing!

What did we eat?

Oh gaaaawd….where do I begin homeboy?!

Tomato Bruschetta with buffalo mozzarella seasoned with Cyprus Black Sea Salt. We were informed that the tomatoes were bought fresh from Gasworks Farmers Market. So sweet and crimson red ripe, it  perfectly balanced saltiness.


Flown in from Tasmania, then came the Gravlax which was nicely cured in Olsson’s Sea Salt, further served with a side of Sicilian Sea Salted lemon. The mask that encased the lemon was infused with vanilla. It smelt like a citrus themed perfume. Could this be an idea for a new cologne?



Who then came knocking? A Tricolour of meats.

The chicken, that had been in the brine for six hours, was succulently salty. It went well with a little Himalayan variety.


The Lamb held by a fortress of Netherland Smoked Sea salted pastry was tender. Penny (Addictive & Consuming) and I made the mistake of eating a hunk of the pastry. Being so overly salty, we were so mortified and required more gargles of our wine. We definitely ate with our eyes.


The last of the mains was the grade 7 Wagyu Steak. Oh, the words sublime wouldn’t cover it. Being a lover of Korean BBQ , I was ecstatic to be able to cook it on some classy marble right on our table! Seconds were had people.

DSC02312The above is actually a fork not smoke

A selection of fruits and egg.


One addictive combination was the pineapple with the Prik Kab Klua (chilli salt)- which was grinded live onstage  by Scott Pickett from The Point, Albert Park.


Check out the below video of the demonstration by both Scott Pickett and Maurice Esposito from Esposito Seafood.


Food Rehab TV: Salt demonstration

Rather than being served desserts, we were asked to fetch. Like dogs to a bone, without a single hesitation, Penny and I ran to the dessert area where we are presented with Chocolate Mousse served with olive oil and Helen Sea Salt and Meldon salted Caramel Macarons.


We had no shame at all helping ourselves to 2nds, 3rds..hell, we lost count. The chocolate mousse was heaven on a spoon, melting away its richness in your mouth a hundred Lidnt balls at once. The publisher, Carolen Barripp had noticed our giddy behavior so we also encouraged her to more helpings.   Addiction is contagious.


DSC02295Foodarazzi spotted Iain Hewitson from the longtime fav Huey’s Cooking Adevntures

The Cap Off

I’ve learnt to really appreciate the value of salt and totally agree with what the book stipulates very well- there are many things that can make something sweet (sugar, honey, maple syrup), sour  and bitter. But only one thing is salty, sodium chlorine (salt). The event was very enjoyable and I look forward to cooking up a dish from the book.

The book is great read- finished reading it last night. It contains interesting salty articles from the history, proper intake, the mystery, the use by different cultures to amazing photography, delicious simple recipes and even tells you how to make your own salt! You don’t need access to the sea.

Salt coverPhoto Credit: Arbon Publishing

View a preview chapter (as an ebook):

Thank you to Helen Cameron at Arbon Publishing, Billy (A Table for Two) for the recommendation, Penny (Addictive & Consuming) who like me- doesn’t really have any shame in pigging out (it’s not fun otherwise), Kobe Jones, the salt suppliers: Murray River Pink Salt, Maldon, Fleurde Sel, Ollsson’s and Saxa Finishing salt.

Big props to Fritz Gubler, David Glynn and Dr Russell for a superbly written and educational book- full of interesting facts, tips and delectable photos.


How to win a copy of the book?

Just answer one question my fellow foodie:

Of the 16 salt varieties tasted, which 3 were my favourites?

T & C’s

This promotion is open to Australasia only.

Two lucky winners will be selected randomly and contacted via email.

Competition closes 23:59PM on 18th April 2010. Hurry! :)

Food Rehab attended this event as a guest of Arbon Publishing

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