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Old 08-11-2006, 01:54 AM   #1
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Salts and Heirloom Tomatoes

Some reminded me today of my fascination for stocks at one point. I always have one on the go and a couple of years ago it was different salts. I went insane with about 30 of them for a good period of time. It's heirloom tomato time and they seem to be everywhere now and maybe a few people might find this interesting and I've noticed a lot of salts I had to special order appearing in the better supermarkets. I'd do these as a special and go and explain the plate to the customer and we couldn't make them fast enough. It's about how different salts affect the flavor profile of a tomato. I love making people happy. This made people happy.

I like to lightly crisp up some French bread slices, halve them and put barely 1/4" pieces of tomato on it. Try the first without salt. It'll maybe take you a few shots initially to get the right amount of salt onto the tomato without it being salty but different salts do very different things and you'll get it down real fast.

Australian Murray river pops and instantly pulls the full flavor out of the greener, yellow varieties.

Peruvian Pink is awesome, certainly in the top three for tomatoes.

Maldon does a nice job, a sudden crunch, brief saltiness for about a second or two and then intensely heightened tomato flavor and a touch of tartness at the end.

For me, smoked salts are awesome. Halen Mon doesn't really work, it's timing is all wrong and it's too thick, but the small round granules of Danish smoked salt are amazing. About four does it, the smell is intense and when the flavor kicks in, it is just amazing.

Fleur de Sel makes the flavor totally pop, in a lighter but longer way than the Murray river.

Cyprus black isn't very special but you can use a lot, and it looks terribly pretty

Alae is interesting, a little more minerally than Peruvian Pink but doesn't change the profile as much.

I'd sometimes use Nazuna which did more for some than others. It's amazing with fish by the way. This salt smells like you're at the seaside.

Anyway, I'll stop rambling. If you love tomatoes, find a few salts and give this a shot. And watch that French bread disappear real fast. It's totally addictive, he says, heading for the kitchen to get stuck in about a large pile of lovely heirlooms and some French bread he bought on the way home tonight.


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Old 08-11-2006, 02:23 AM   #2
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i've had fleur de sal and la baleine on various tomatoes (i gave up on heirlooms after too much cracking, and not enough fruits per plant).

you're right chefscotty, salt and tomatoes are an amazing pair. i'd love to get into exotic salts.

i still like to put worcestershire sauce on sliced early girls and celebrities. it's so good that after there's no tomato left, i sip the leftover tomato juice, mucilaginous seeds, and whatever else is left with the worcestershire sauce.

mmmm, tomatoes - salt - and an iced cold shot of vodka on a warm summer's night.

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Old 08-11-2006, 04:22 AM   #3
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I'm pretty much a Fleur de Sel user, especially when it comes to finishing a dish. I've tried different salts, but I always come back to Fleur de Sel.
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Old 08-11-2006, 06:02 AM   #4
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I love this thread!

Much learned here this morning, and I do thank you both!
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Old 08-11-2006, 07:02 AM   #5
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I love this thread, I love heirlooms and I love heirlooms with different salts - will try all of the above.

I also love to try salts with chocolate

(Where's that 5 things we love, I must go edit it!!);)
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Old 08-11-2006, 08:52 AM   #6
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fleur de sel and sel gris are wonderful, but has anyone tried Utah Jurassic salt...orange/brown in color, bright and light in flavor, beautiful with tomatoes. Must get some more smoked salt...and I agree, the Danish one is tops!
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Old 08-11-2006, 09:54 AM   #7
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I am sitting outside about 10 feet away from about 10 ripe early girls and a lot of ripe heirloom cherries on a plant that looks to be giving up the ghost.

The fleur de sel and worcestershire sauce are about 20 feet away in the kitchen.

Lunchtime is apporaching .....
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Old 08-11-2006, 09:58 AM   #8
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I love tomatoes and salt. The worcestershire sauce thing sounds like something I will be trying real soon too.

I fear my palate is not refined enough to taste the differences in salts though. Well in all honesty I have not tried many different kinds. I do use and love fleur de sel, but I love it for the crystal shape and size. If the crystals were the same shape/size I do not think I would be able to tell the difference between fleur de sel and kosher salt on food.

I have a jar of fleur de sel sitting in my kitchen just waiting for my first ripe tomatoes though
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Old 08-11-2006, 10:07 AM   #9
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GB, I got a little sampler of 12 different salts for Christmas, and I have had a bunch of fun trying out the different salts on the same item, to see IF there was any difference, and how much, if there was. I have been surprised by some of the differences.

Fleur de sel is still my favorite, but there are a whole bunch of other interesting ones... including a black, volcanic salt from Hawaii!
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Old 08-11-2006, 10:24 AM   #10
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I can't wait to try some new ones. Do you know where the sampler came from?

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