2011 James Beard Award Winner for Reference and Scholarship
Synopses & Reviews
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.”
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.
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. (Oct.) " Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
"If you care about food, cooking, and taste, then you care about salt. And if you care about salt you will be over the moon about Salted by Mark Bitterman. His book is a veritable encyclopedia of the world’s most well-loved mineral and will teach cooks how to take their dishes to the next level by learning to master the principles and techniques of salting. "Salted" is transformative; it will change the way you cook." The Christian Science Monitor
An authoritative field guide to an indispensable and increasingly fashionable ingredient, written by the country's top purveyor of artisanal salts. Mark Bitterman captures the nuance and beauty of salt in this stunning field guide featuring hundreds of artisan varieties with photos. From the elegant Fleur de Sel and flake salt to 500-million-year-old Himalayan salt slabs that resemble pink quartz, Bitterman explains the history and science of salt production, and includes 55 recipes that showcase this versatile and marvelous ingredient. In Salted, Bitterman's mission is to encourage readers to explore the amazing flavors of salt beyond the iodized curtain and get the best results for their individual cooking style, personal taste, and unique nutritional needs.
About the Author
Mark Bitterman is the owner and selmelier of The Meadow, a Portland-based boutique. Clients include elite chefs, leading confectioners, wineries, and thousands of annual visitors. He has lectured at The Western Culinary Institute–Le Cordon Bleu; is cohost of The KBOO Radio Food Show; and has been featured on CNN Money, CBS Sunday Morning, local media, and leading national newspapers and food blogs.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments . . . viii
Discovery: The Salt Road . . . 1
The Life of Salt . . . 13
History: First Bite • Science: Mind, Body, Salt, Ocean • Craft: Artisan Saltmaking
Salt Guide . . . 73
The Taxonomy of Salt • Salt Reference Guide
Salting . . . 193
Salting Strategically • Uncooked • Curing • Grilling • Brining • Roasting • Frying • Boiling • Baking • Salt Crust • Cooking on Salt Blocks • Saucing • Confectionery • Drinks
Resources . . . 301
Index . . . 305