A Salt Tasting
By Leslie Bilderback 03/01/2011
4 willing friends
Plenty of water
An assortment of specialty salts (I suggest 5 to 8 distinctly different salts, including your regular salt. More than that is too much for one seating. Be sure to choose a varied assortment, such as a fleur de sel, a black salt, a red or pink salt, a sea salt from a couple of different places, a smoked salt and an infused salt. Also, be sure to sprinkle in different textures by choosing some flake, some coarse and some fine-grained.)
1 or 2 baguettes
Good unsalted butter, room temperature
2 or 3 English cucumbers
2 or 3 good steaks
Häagen-Dazs chocolate ice cream
1. Create a salt-tasting chart for your guests, listing the foods and salts on a grid, with room for notes.
2. Slice baguette a half-inch thick on the bias. Smear generously with butter and top with a sprinkle of your first salt. Serve. Repeat with each of the remaining salts.
3. Slice cucumber into half-inch coins, and sprinkle with your first salt. Serve. Repeat with each of the remaining salts.
4. Grill or broil steaks to desired doneness with no additional seasoning. Slice meat into bite-size cubes and sprinkle with your first salt. Serve. Repeat with each of the remaining salts.
5. For each guest, scoop out one bite of ice cream onto a plastic spoon. Sprinkle with your first salt. Serve. Repeat with each of the remaining salts.
Compare your results and make your recommendations. Then try it again next week with a new batch of salts!