A James Beard Award–winning field guide to artisan salts, with profiles of 80 varieties and 50 recipes that showcase the versatile ingredient.
In Salted, Bitterman traces the mineral’s history, from humankind’s first salty bite to its use in modern industry to the resurgent interest in artisan salts. Featuring more than 50 recipes that showcase this versatile and marvelous ingredient, Salted also includes a field guide to artisan salts profiling 80 varieties and exploring their dazzling characters, unique stories, production methods, and uses in cooking; plus a quick-reference guide covering over 150 salts.
Salting is one of the more ingrained habits in cooking, and according to Bitterman, all habits need to be questioned. He challenges you to think creatively about salting, promising that by understanding and mastering the principles behind it—and becoming familiar with the primary types of artisanal salts available—you will be better equipped to get the best results for your individual cooking style and personal taste. Whether he’s detailing the glistening staccato crunch of fleur de sel harvested from millennia-old Celtic saltmaking settlements in France or the brooding sizzle of forgotten rock salts transported by the Tauregs across the Sahara, Bitterman’s mission is to encourage us to explore the dazzling world of salt beyond the iodized curtain.
Mark Bitterman is a man truly possessed by salt. As “selmelier” at The Meadow, the internationally recognized artisan-product boutique, Bitterman explains the promise and allure of salt to thousands of visitors from across the country who flock to his showstopping collection. “Salt can be a revelation,” he urges, “no food is more potent, more nutritionally essential, more universal, or more ancient. No other food displays salt’s crystalline beauty, is as varied, or as storied.”
Winner – 2011 James Beard Cookbook Award – Reference & Scholarship Category
IACP Cookbook Award Finalist in two categories
Bitterman explains that his love of salt began after eating a sublime steak at a relais on a trip to France. After learning about the cooking method and cut of meat, Bitterman concluded it was the "hefty nuggets of opalescent salt" that were responsible for his unforgettable meal, and he set out to meet the family of salt makers responsible. After opening an artisanal-product boutique with his wife, which includes a showcase of salts, Bitterman takes on the role of official "selmelier." In this entertaining and well-researched volume, he profiles 80 varieties of artisan salts, along with a quick reference guide to more than 150 salts for an easy-to-understand crash course on salt. The text-heavy though beautifully photographed title covers the history of salt and all things related. Recipes round out the work, and although pedestrian dishes such as hamburgers, potato chips, and sauerkraut are included, beginners may be intimidated by sophisticated selections like roasted marrowbones with sel gris; salt crust roasted partridge with figs and chocolate-balsamic syrup; and jal jeer (an Indian lemonade). An informative and easy-to-follow "Cooking on Salt" chapter just may have the more adventurous home cooks and the DIY crowd running out for their very own Himalayan salt block.