How much do we know and think about salt?
It is one of the most underrated ingredient and then again, it is one of the most common kitchen ingredient that most of us will use in our cooking and baking. Salt was once upon a time used as a currency and was responsible for the creation and downfall of many empires. It is NOT an ingredient or condiment to be belittled.
The Salt book starts off by beautifully illustrating the power of salt to enhance flavours when used with best intentions and properly. Then it introduces us to the different variety of salt and how simple it is to turn the simple salt into something quite remarkable in our home kitchen. It is followed by mouth-watering recipes which I will share with you soon. And it ends with the story and wisdom of salt.
I was fortunate to be invited to this book event by the kind people from Arbon Publishing. The event was held in Docklands, food was served and cooked by Kobe Jones. The event kicked off with one of the authors of the book, Fritz, whom gave us a short and passionate introduction about salt, the book and and how this book came about. The thing that stuck in my head was the importance of how, why and when to salt. And he also explained that Australia has the beautiful Murray salt is appreciated and loved world wide but why not in our backyard?
The microphone was then passed onto Dr. Russell Keast, which was also the co-author of this book. He gave an interesting logic as to why humans love salt. There is a theory the origin of life started from the sea and made the move to land over 350million years. Our appetite for salt is developed over billion of years. The recommended human consumption of salt by the Heart Foundation of Australia is 6g a day. Unless we cut out all process foods and only eat whole foods, it is really hard to stick to a low sodium diet. There is section in the book that explains further on how to be ‘Salt Wise’. Very useful information and something that I need to digest and always remember to read the labels in the supermarket.
Enjoy this video of how to make compound salt and why salt plays such an important role in their cooking from Scott Pickett from The Point & Maurice Esposito from Esposito Seafood Dining. One of the important points that I picked up in this video and also something that I practise in my kitchen is the use of herbs and spices will decrease the amount of salt that is required to add flavour to a dish.
The salt workshop began with with plates of fruits and eggs that we shared and tasted with all the different salts. It is interesting for me is that as an asian, I do like to make chilli salt to compliment my fruits. And what I have infront of me was a trio of salt – chilli salt (prik-kab-klua), aniseed salt and tarragon salt. I sprinkled them on different slices of pineapple. Can you guess which combination was my favourite?
And one of the most interesting salt on the table was the Indian black volcanic salt. It did have a rather unusually scent. It smelt like boiled eggs. And so it was only fitting that I had it with eggs. It was delicious! And of course I did try Tetsuya’s truffle salt with another slice of egg. Heavenly!
After this little workshop of salt and a couple of glasses of lovely whites to wash down the experience, we were spoilt by dishes specially prepared by Kobe Jones. And also where clever Fritz showed off ways to present salt at the table. So where do I start? We were first served the tomato brushetta with Shaw river buffalo cheese.These were seasoned with Cyprus black sea salt. Very delicate and brought out the sweetness in the tomatoes (bought from Gaswork Farmers market prior). It was super yummy.
And then we were treated to a generous serving of Gravlax. The salmon was cured with Olsson’s sea salt and served with Sicilian sea salt scented lemon. This is such a clever idea. The fleshy part of the lemon was salted 30mins before service. The outcome was a soft lemon tangy that is not at all bitey. I have definitely use this tip.
And then we indulged in a trio of meats – chicken cooked on the bone, lamb cooked in salt coated pastry and wagyu beef served both ways. Another trick in making salt more interesting was to create a salt spray. Just add salt to water and put into a spray bottle. This can be used on salad leaves. I love this idea. And did I mention that we were spoilt with grade 7 Wagyu beef? Super tender and went well with the Netherland smoked salt. Adrian (Food rehab) and I went for seconds! And I have to say it was great to have another fellow food blogger in this event.
And then it was time to launch the book! I actually had goosebumps. All the proud and happy faces on the stage. It was so inspiring and feel privileged to be part of this event. More clinking of glasses to celebrate the launch of the Salt book
Any by the way, the next book is about champagne!
We had a really sweet ending to the event. Pure indulgence and everyone with a sweet tooth will be totally envious. I went straight for the Maldon sea salted & vanilla infused macarons. It was chewy and followed by a buttery and salty texture. Exquisite. I did take one for the road. Could not resist the temptation.
And my favourite of the day must be the Olive oil chocolate mousse served on a spoon and sprinkled with Halen Mon sea salt. Superb. It was very rich and naughty. But it was so good that I could not stop at one. I caught Adrian going back for seconds and thirds! It was so addictive. Oh well, I am guilty of it as well. One more wouldn’t hurt right?
Arbon Publishing, Kobe Jones, Maldon, Murray River Pink Salt, Saxa Finishing Salt, Fleur de Sel, Ollsson’s and also HBC Trading for supplying the beautiful Himalayan Salt bowls and salt products. And of course bit kudos to Fritz Gubler, David Glynn and Dr Russell Keast for this well written and researched book that all food lovers should have in their collection.
As part of this event, I was also given 2 of Salt books to giveaway. All you have to do is to try and guess which salt combination did I like with my slice of pineapple?
- The promotion is open to Australia, Asia Pacific and the US
- Random.org will be used to pick 2 winners from the ones that has given the right answer. You can only answer the question once a day
- All answers must be received by 12 midnight AEST 8th of April
Where to get a copy of this book?
- In australia – All Dymocks and leading independent bookstores (by end of this week)
- Online – Ardon Publishing and Amazon (at the end of the week)
And I shall leave you with this quote from Thomas Keller at the start of the book - “The ability to salt food properly is the single most important skill in cooking”
** Please note: Jeroxie was a guest of Arbon Publishers for this event