Springtime brews made with a pinch of salt are refreshing and perfect for hot weather. (Think salt on the rim of a margarita.)
Rising Tide Gose
A simple refresher, this lemony beer carries quiet coriander along a tide of vibrant bubbles; salt pops up as lovely mineral flavor in the very clean finish.
Devils Backbone Cran-Gose
Bright, lemony tartness perks up the tongue at the start; salinity arrives early in the swallow before diving into cranberry tartness. The sip finishes pleasantly dry with tart fruit lingering in the aftertaste.
Mark Bitterman is a renowned selmelier (a salt expert) and CEO of The Meadow, a boutique specializing in salts with locations in New York City and Portland, Oregon. He’s traversed the globe in search of superior salts and currently runs Bitterman Salt Co., a bespoke brand of finishing salts, which partners with an eco-friendly salt farm in Guatemala. Here, he decodes the salts you should have in your pantry.
sel gris: Also known as gray French sea salt, it’s a course, chunky, unrefined salt that’s both widely available and affordable. Bitterman notes that it does heavy lifting as an all-purpose salt, and, unlike grocery store salts labeled
“sea salt”—which are often fake, industrial versions—if the package says “French gray salt,” it’s the real deal. Use it primarily in robust dishes: “It stands up to roast chicken, prime rib and other big, hearty foods.” He also says it will bolster roasted root vegetables like squash, and you can put big handfuls of it into your pasta water. “The salt is burly and the crystals are big; celebrate its boldness.”
fleur de sel: Bitterman likes this fine, naturally formed salt for its delicate but deeply penetrating salinity. He suggests sprinkling it not only on buttered toast, fish and vegetables, but also on sweeter foods like caramels, brittles, cookies and buttercream frosting. “Anything with a rich texture—not a really bold, big, burly texture—is where it will shine.” For your next wow dessert, pinch fleur de sel on sliced bananas and dip them in melted chocolate.
flake salt: The most common type of flake salt is Maldon, known for its well-defined flakes and a bright, crackling crunch that explodes and quickly vanishes. Try it on salad, but not in your dressing. Bitterman says salt in a salad dressing desiccates and breaks down the lettuce, causing it to brown and wilt quickly. Instead, shake flake salt onto your salad right before serving. “It will maximize the natural texture and freshness of the lettuce.”