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Need to quickly and easily add flavor, color and texture to a dish?

Salt has its own unique voice and its own special character that elevates the flavor of food. Finishing salts refer to the many different varieties of salt that tend to be sea salt based and whose crystals tend to be larger. Just a sprinkle at the end as a finishing touch can be a game changer, raising flavor, and providing a playful crackle. A proper salting results in being able to taste the ingredients better, not the salt. There are many varieties of colors and flavors that are dependent on the location, the minerals, and the gathering process involved. Some examples include:

Himalayan Pink, French Grey, Hawaiian Black & Red, Flake, Fleur de Sel and Smoked Sea Salt. And there are many more.

Tres LA uses finishing salt in some of our dishes including our playful take on “Steak & Eggs”. We sprinkle red Hawaiian sea salt on top of a sunny side up quail egg, seared rib eye and crispy potato gaufrette. The added color, texture and flavor make for the perfect finishing touch.

Finishing salts can do all the heavy lifting, flavor-wise, with just a crystal or two popping with every bite. The rewards are increased intensity of flavor, greater flavor complexity, exciting new textures and aromas, and a heightened awareness of the very process of tasting food.

If you've never sprinkled a little finishing salt on a steak or slice of fresh tomato right before you serve it, try it, and you will be pleasantly surprised. You definitely don't want to over salt your dish so just a little will do. There is no need to go out to a specialty market and buy the most expensive, trendy or rare salt you can find, or even a special grinder. Your fingers and whatever you have in your kitchen now is probably fine assuming it’s kosher or sea salt, not table salt. If the food is moist or hot, it's fairly common for the salt to just dissolve as soon as you sprinkle it on. PRO TIP: At home, you can beat the clock by spraying a little cooking spray into a small bowl, add just enough finishing salt as you want to use, and stir it gently around with your fingers. The oil will coat the flakes and when sprinkled over food, it will dissolve more slowly, giving more time to savor the taste and enjoy the crunch. A perfect touch!