Gourmet salts are superior-quality unrefined salts utilized in various exotic cuisines for enhancing the flavor, taste, appeal, and texture of food. They have better solubility and higher mineral content than regular table salt. The global gourmet food market is predicted to expand due to the increasing preference for natural ingredients in food and the rising demand for gourmet cuisines. In addition, new product launches and the increasing popularity of cooking shows have also attracted consumers to gourmet salts.
There are various types of gourmet salts available in the market, such as coarse salt, fleur de sel, Indian black salt, sel gris sea salt, Italian sea salt, smoked sea salt, and others including specialty flavored salts and Himalayan pink salts. These gourmet salts have been elaborated upon on the basis of their properties and uses to get a better understanding on the types of gourmet salts utilized globally.
Coarse Salt: Coarse salt is also called as kosher salt. It has larger grains as compared to table salt. The reason for the popularity of coarse salt is that it has a more dramatic impact on flavoring. Conventionally, coarse salt was used for the removal of blood from meat by the process of desiccation. It is very suitable for finishing off a huge variety of dishes, ranging from salted caramels to a number of other sweet desserts in order to lend them a bit of contrast.
Flake Salt: Flake salts are also plate-like crystals and their structure is due to the difference in the growth rates of edges and faces of crystals in the production process. Flake salts can be found naturally but are also produced by a number of methods such as by evaporating brine in solar greenhouse evaporators. These salts have an intense but fleeting flavor and are great for salting salads.
Fleur De Sel: This is a type of sea salt that is hand-harvested and collected by workers by scraping the top layer of brine before the salt sinks at the bottom of big salt pans. It is found majorly along the northern Atlantic coast of France. Its name means ‘flower of salt’ in French and it is considered an artisanal product. Owing to its labor-intensive production and scarcity, it is amongst the most expensive salts. It has a huge mineral complexity as compared to table salt. The salt, if exposed to high temperatures, can melt and lose its intense taste. It is sprinkled on salads, meats, vegetables, fruits, fishes, and deserts.
Sel Gris Sea Salt: Sel gris is a type of coarse granular salt that has been popularized by the French. It is much denser as compared to kosher and table salt. Owing to the mineral complexity as well as the coarse grain of this salt, it is utilized in both cooking and as a finishing salt. Due to it being a moist salt, it doesn’t soak all the moisture from the food when utilized as a finishing salt.
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The prime players operating in the market include J.C. Peacock, Evolution Salt Co., HEPP’S Salt CO, and The Savory Pantry, among others.