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Five: salts

Categories: Product stories

Five of the best salts to be found at Borough Market

Persian blue
Produced from a single seam of salt that runs through an ancient lake bed in northern Iran, this salt from Spice Mountain has, as the name suggests, an unusual, attractive blue tinge. It is extracted in the most natural way possible, and undergoes very little processing, leaving a very pure, clean, salty taste. As such, you don’t need much: use as a finishing salt, or reserve for special dishes.

Sel de Guerande
Hand-harvested from the salt planes of Guerande, Brittany by ‘paludiers’ using a centuries-old method, this was the first salt to be granted PGI status, which guarantees the origin and method of production. Recognisable by its grey hue, a product of the clay landscape, it is one of the Market’s best ‘everyday’ salts. The staff at Le Marche du Quartier suggest sprinkling it on freshly baked ciabatta.

Indian black
A highly sulphuric salt (as becomes clear upon opening the tub), Indian black salt is popular with vegans, used to mimic the flavour of eggs in dishes. It pairs well with lentils and vegetables, and is commonly used in Indian cuisine—particularly as one of the main components of chaat masala, an Indian seasoning comprising black salt, amchoor, cumin, coriander, asafoetida, chilli powder and black pepper.

Egyptian frost
Spice Mountain’s most unusual salt—which is saying something, given the panoply on offer. Egyptian frost comes from an oasis left by a millennia-old sea in the middle of a desert, and is notable for its snowflake-shaped granules, which hold their shape remarkably well when used in hot dishes. Soft in texture but lively in flavour, a sprinkling of these little jewels makes for a pretty but flavour-packed garnish.

Piment d’Espellete sea salt
This salt is flavoured with Espellette chillies, grown in the northern French region of Espellete—an integral ingredient of Basque cuisine, to the extent that there’s an annual festival held in the pepper’s honour. Found at Fitz Fine Foods, here the chillies are dried and combined with sea salt, which can be used to lend dishes a smoky, piquant flavour similar to that of paprika.