Infused Sea Salt? What is it?

Infused Sea Salt? What is it?

Unfortunately, it means whatever the maker wants it to mean. Take for example infused Jalapeno Sea Salt.  I picked up 4 from the gourmet food shelf and found the following:

  • Green Salt, this salt was green and did have the flavor of jalapeno but did not have any bits of jalapeno in it. This was made by cooking the jalapeno in a liquid and reducing it and then mixing it with the salt and lastly drying the salt. To keep it from caking, this salt had added anti-caking agents. Good jalapeno flavor.
  • Green Salt with bits of jalapeno. The same process as above, however, the final step was to add the bits of jalapeno. Again, this salt had a good jalapeno flavor.
  • Green Salt, label said “no anti-caking agents”. After a week in the cabinet it began to cake. This is because the drying process cannot completely dry the salt and over time it begins to stick together. This salt was not as full flavored, because of the long drying time to overcome the necessity to add anti-caking agents.
  • Lastly was a natural salt that had mortared dried jalapeno peppers. I could actually see the peppers and even a seed or two. This salt did not have any caking agents, because it was all natural and did not need drying. It was the most flavorful and had the most heat to it. By far a better product from my perspective.

With the lack of standards in the food industry, we as consumers, need to be informed that words used in packaging do not mean the same thing to all producers and, therefore, can mislead us. So, once again we need to practice “Caveat Emptor”, a Latin term that means “let the buyer beware”.

By the way, we use the mortared method for all our salts except the spirited salts; wine, bourbon and dark rum. You can really taste the difference.