A Pinch of Seasoning Salt
with Stephanie Bullen
Chief Flavor Advisor
As you probably know, our world of spices and seasonings is nearly endless! While it’s true that we have extensive lines of salt-free blends as well as some truly amazing salts, one of the simplest ways to introduce flavor into your food is through seasoning salts.
Our seasoning salts are created with sea salt, which is all natural, with no anti-caking agents or additives. Blending this product with our other spices, we are able to create perfect all-purpose seasonings. Using something as traditional as Garlic Salt, as fiery as Ghost Pepper Salt, or as unique as Italian Black Truffle Salt will add a dynamic flavor to any dish!
Herbes de Provence Seasoning Salt
One of the go-to seasonings of my childhood was garlic salt. My little sister loved it so much she was occasionally known to sneak a sprinkle into the palm of her hand, the way some kids would swipe sugar. “So why is your Garlic Salt so good?” we are often asked. As in most recipes, the secret is in the use of quality ingredients. With this one though, the “secret” is that we use both regular granulated and roasted granulated garlic. The granulated garlic gives the strong garlic punch, while the roasted granulated garlic adds a depth of flavor and a mellow sweetness. And before you ask, yes, we do make our onion salt in the same way!
Some of our seasoning salts are based around existing salt-free blends. Herbes de Provence (popularized by the beloved Julia Child) is a classic French blend used in a variety of dishes. On its own, the blend is dynamic enough that the addition of salt and pepper, to create our Herbes de Provence Seasoning Salt, enhances the existing flavors and creates a truly all-purpose blend. We used this same concept of adding salt and pepper to create our Cantanzaro Herbs Seasoning Salt. The pink peppercorns in this blend give a subtle peppery flavor, with a sweet nuttiness that really accents the lemon, garlic, and herbs in the blend. The variety of color and texture make this a beautiful salt for plating and presentation! I find that these seasoning salts are great for both meats and veggies.
Ghost Pepper Salt
For some people, flavor equates to something with a kick. Rather than subtle, herbal notes, these chile-heads want a seasoning that will punch them in the mouth with a burst of intensity. In case you don’t already have an idea, I’m referring to our Ghost Pepper Salt. This one was a bit tricky to create: salt and heat is a great marriage, but we thought it needed something to ground the flavors. From a technical position, we needed a liquid binder to tie the salt to the chile. After trying a few different flavors, we decided on chocolate extract. The cocoa grounds the heat of the chile and gives it a bit of complexity. While not one of the aforementioned chile-heads, I appreciate the complex flavors of sweet and heat, earthy and salty. You can use sparingly (or not!) instead of hot sauce or other condiments.
Italian Black Truffle Salt
What better note to end on than Italian Black Truffle Salt. While we don’t blend this one ourselves, the black truffles are authentic Italian truffles. This has quickly become a “must have” among my friends and family. Truffles have become very popular; it seems like almost every restaurant heralds outrageous truffle fries, or pommes frites if they are fancy. Still, there is an exotic and indulgent quality about this musky mushroom. The best thing about the truffle salt is that it lends an air of decadence to even the simplest foods. While you can certainly use it for a steak dinner, it’s really great sprinkled on top of popcorn or basic buttered noodles.
"Of all smells, bread; of all tastes, salt." - George Herbert, English poet (1593-1633)
While I’ve touched on a number of our seasoning salts, there are many more waiting to be discovered. County Clare Seasoning Salt imparts an herbal flavor to corn on the cob; Cambridgeshire Celery Seasoning (or celery salt plus, as I affectionately call it) adds new depth to a basic Bloody Mary; and Gourmet Santa Maria Sea Salted BBQ Rub is the only thing you need for a perfect tri-tip steak.
The best thing about seasoning salts is how easy they make it to add flavor to your favorite food. Not every day can be a truffle salt kind of day. Fortunately, there’s always Garlic Salt, County Clare Seasoning Salt, and maybe even Ghost Pepper Salt.