Lately I find myself doing something I hardly ever do: adding more salt to my meals. More specifically, flavored salts. Usually the food doesn't even need it but I'm obsessed with adding a dash to almost anything I can. For a long time I never understood the fuss. In fact, I was a bit of brat over the whole concept. What's wrong with regular table salt? What do I even put flavored salt on? My bottomless blue pillar of Trader Joe's Sea Salt has been a fine way to top off meals for the last thirty years, why change now? Because I found The Filling Station, that's why.
Located online and in New York's Chelsea Market, The Filling Station is home to a wide array of oils, vinegars and salts. There are some flavors of salt I'll just never go for, ghost peppers just aren't my thing, but more versatile flavors like black truffle or smoked alderwood are great pantry additions. I was able to immediately find a spoonful of uses for the black truffle salt. Its deeply addictive umami flavor highlights eggs, asparagus, avocado, and popcorn. At least that's all I've tried it on up to this point.
Upon first glance, the smoked alderwood salt reminds you of something you might have scraped off the grill last weekend. Take a few inhales of the intense, charred aroma, and your grill would wish it could be this delicious. Initially I wasn't sure what I'd sprinkle this on but pan seared mahi mahi, grilled green beans, and grilled watermelon have been some successes. And avocado. When in doubt, try anything on avocado. The website suggests a smidge in creamy pasta dishes but I have yet to have the opportunity.
A little goes a long way with these flavors. The flavor packed into a single grain or two of salt immediately transforms food upon your taste buds. Start with a few grains and add more as necessary, always remembering that it is still salt, which (in excess) has potential to overpower and ruin any dish.
Go ahead, mix things up in the kitchen or on the grill this summer. Once you try them on enough foods there's no telling what you might sprinkle it on next. And as someone who hosts quite often I can say it would make one heck of a hostess gift. Break free of the table salt monotony and try one out today. Until the next dish, ciao!