With the recent proliferation of specialty salts in gourmet shops and restaurants across the globe, Saveur set out to find the best varieties for the salt-loving home cook. These crystals—spanning a range of colors, textures, and flavors—hail from all corners of the world and help to boost the taste and appearance of any dish. Here are 13 of our favorites.
1. Alaea Hawaiian Sea Salt This coarse, salmon-colored salt has a subtle flavor that makes it an ideal garnishing salt. Available at **SaltWorks **.
2. Salish Alder Smoked Salt Cool-smoked over red alder wood, this salt adds a touch of barbecue flavor to meat, chicken, or salmon. Available at SaltWorks.
3. Murray River Pink Flake Salt Harvested from the Murray-Darling basin in Australia, this salt has a delicate flavor and melts quickly on the tongue. Available at SaltWorks .
4. Cyprus Black Lava This chunky, textured salt gets its color from activated charcoal and creates a dramatic effect when sprinkled on flaky white fish. Available at SaltWorks .
5. Black Truffle Sea Salt With an intense flavor of black truffle, this premium salt is delicious when sprinkled on eggs, meat, and even popcorn. Available at SaltWorks .
6. Chili Verde Sea Salt Finely ground, with a pleasantly spicy, green chile flavor, this salt adds depth to Mexican dishes and rich chocolate desserts. Available at SaltWorks .
7. Fleur de Sel French Sea Salt This hand-harvested salt, widely considered one of the best, is gathered from the Atlantic salt marshes in France and is preferred by chefs. Available at Williams Sonoma.
8. Fumee de Sel Cold-smoked over chardonnay barrels, which impart a mild, smoky flavor with hints of wine, this salt is a great choice for salads or steamed vegetables. Available at SaltWorks .
9. Ilocano Asin Harvested in Pangasinan Province in the Philippines, this coarse salt has a crisp, clean flavor and enhances any dish. Available at xroads Philippine Sea Salts.
10. Maldon English Sea Salt A light and flaky salt from Essex, England, Maldon makes a tasty topping on everything from french fries to foie gras. Available at Williams Sonoma.
11. Vintage Merlot Sea Salt This lovely, purple-colored salt has hints of merlot and is delightful when paired with anything chocolate. Available at SaltWorks.
12. Sugpo Asin A faintly pink salt from the Philippines, the sugpo gets its briny flavor from sugpo shrimp and is a perfect accompaniment to seafood dishes. Available at xroads Philippine Sea Salts.
13. Thai Ginger Sea Salt Coarse and golden colored, this salt adds zing to grilled vegetables, stir-fries, and other Asian dishes. Available at SaltWorks.