Black Muscat Salt

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Black Muscat Salt

Postby Jenise » Sun Apr 27, 2014 6:34 pm

Jody's revival of the Himalayan salt thread reminded me that I'd been meaning to post this product recommendation. I receive a lot of finishing salts as gifts, and most are decent enough as just salt but few really deliver as much as you'd hope based on whatever it claims to be. So much so that I'd given up being excited when I found a new salt underneath the wrapper--sometimes it's a 'no' just because it has the texture of driveway gravel and has to get mortar'd and pestle'd to be usable, but most of the time the flavor doesn't live up to the billing either. And so I had to feign excitement when I opened this one last Christmas, a gift from my well-meaning husband who doesn't realize, I don't think, how many salts I've got languishing around here.

Enter this black muscat salt from La Tienda. What a game changer. I *love* this stuff, and am constantly sprinkling it on and around things, in particular composed salads where the contrast against with other ingredients and a white plate adds some visual excitement and where the lightly sweet and tangy flavor is really going to pop every bite you drag through it. It's attributes, as listed on the site, are completely accurate to the jar I own--in particular the unusual "light and fluffy" part. I use it often enough to consider it a pantry staple like Maldon salt--and I'm considering buying another jar now just in case they stop carrying it. I've used half a jar in just four months.

Here's the La Tienda website:

http://www.tienda.com/food/products/sp-39.html?gclid=CKLfkKnHgb4CFdKGfgodzkYA

And here, just to show an example of how great it looks on the plate, is a photo of the confit of halibut with fresh asparagus salad I used it on a few days ago.

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IMG_1218.JPG (57.35 KiB) Viewed 689 times
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Re: Black Muscat Salt

Postby Joy Lindholm » Sun Apr 27, 2014 9:45 pm

I had to do a double-take at your photo - for a second there, I thought you had a sunny side up egg on that asparagus! ;)
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Re: Black Muscat Salt

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Mon Apr 28, 2014 1:03 am

You and me both, Joy!
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Re: Black Muscat Salt

Postby Jenise » Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:38 am

Joy Lindholm wrote:I had to do a double-take at your photo - for a second there, I thought you had a sunny side up egg on that asparagus! ;)


Nope, just a piece of very ripe Meyer lemon.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Black Muscat Salt

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Mon Apr 28, 2014 5:44 pm

Jenise wrote:
Joy Lindholm wrote:I had to do a double-take at your photo - for a second there, I thought you had a sunny side up egg on that asparagus! ;)


Nope, just a piece of very ripe Meyer lemon.


Well, Joy and I think it's an egg. You're outvoted.
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Re: Black Muscat Salt

Postby Ted Richards » Mon Apr 28, 2014 7:16 pm

I've always wanted to do a dinner party where I provided black salt and white pepper. Haven't got around to it yet, though.
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Re: Black Muscat Salt

Postby James Dietz » Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:04 am

Wasn't there a song, "Black Muscat Woman," or something like that? :?: :shock:
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Re: Black Muscat Salt

Postby Paul Winalski » Tue Apr 29, 2014 3:18 am

If you're into exotic salts, have you tried black salt from India? There's a Mephisto whiff of sulfur in this one. It's a key ingredient in chaat masala, the spice mixture used in a lot of Indian snack preparations. It finds its way into some curries and other savory dishes as well.

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Re: Black Muscat Salt

Postby Frank Deis » Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:12 pm

Jenise, I have many kinds of salt but you snagged me with this one, and I ordered a jar.

We are "catering" a dinner in a few weeks where it's for a charity (the music department of the church Louise sings at) and participants pay $50 a head to attend. One course will consist of a couple of sauteed "dry" sea scallops with a little pile of mâche. I dust with a good chili powder before they are sautéed to a caramelized state in a hot pan. I decided a sprinkle of that salt would probably give it a really interesting twist. I should post the menu -- we will be cooking much of the stuff at our house and taking it over hot. So we want to keep it as simple as we can while providing unusual and delicious dishes. And I am counting on the wines I will provide to push everything up a notch.

Because it was La Tienda I also couldn't resist ordering some of their expensive sliced Belotta Iberico ham. Maybe that will make it into the meal as well. I am almost visualizing a wisp of that ham on the plate with the scallops and mâche. Would that be crazy? Probably Champagne with that course.
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Re: Black Muscat Salt

Postby Jenise » Tue Apr 29, 2014 4:31 pm

Love the ham with the scallops and mache--what a killer plate. Yes, publish the menu!

Hope you like the salt as much as I do!
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Re: Black Muscat Salt

Postby Frank Deis » Tue Apr 29, 2014 7:11 pm

Jenise -- the first course, before the scallops, is foie gras mousse on toast with Sauternes. And I was thinking that the ham might be better with that. But you are right, the surprise of seeing ham with scallops is probably worth it. And if I experimented in advance, maybe I could nudge it towards a combined dish, scallops with ham "hats" or something. The ham flavor gets lost with the foie gras beside it.
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Re: Black Muscat Salt

Postby Jenise » Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:59 pm

Yeah, I can see that. Fatty meat plus fat would have a cancelling effect, where the salty-sweet contrast of the ham with the scallop would pop both flavors.
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Re: Black Muscat Salt

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:34 pm

I agree. The ham sounds better with the scallops than the mousse. Just a little bit of that ham ought to pair very nicely with the scallop.

And please do post the menu.

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Re: Black Muscat Salt

Postby Frank Deis » Thu May 01, 2014 11:53 pm

I was surprised when the stuff from La Tienda arrived today. Very fast. The mystery of "light and fluffy" is solved, it's a "fleur de sel" in French. I have white French fleur de sel and we've really enjoyed that. I never knew there was such a thing as black fleur de sel. Maybe you've seen the little round cardboard boxes with a round cork in the top from "le Saunier de Camargue." In Spanish evidently "Flor de Sal Negra."

The flavor is strong, salty and tangy, a little goes a long way.

I was slightly disappointed with the ham, but buying good Spanish ham in America is a fool's errand. They did not say how many ounces I would get but all the other packages were 3 ounces, so I assumed 6 ounces since they said "2 packages." In fact there is a fancy box containing two 1.5 ounce packages of ham. Of course the price is crazy, but it is "Cinco Jotas" or 5J and from our time in Spain I know they are one of the best companies out there. The black box also says "Jabugo" on the outside and that is kind of a Rolls Royce label for Spanish ham. On the other hand, it's shoulder ham and not leg. We will see. I'm not going to complain or send it back. You gotta just brush the dust off your shoulder and shrug sometimes.

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