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Your glossary to everything from fleur de sel to white peppercorns.
Once you’ve mastered the intricacies of the beloved seasoning staples, check out our favourite salt-and-pepper recipes here.
Like olive oil and pre-1776 Americans, not all salts are created equal. Here’s when to use what.
Fleur de Sel
Literally translating to “flower of salt,” fleur de sel is the classic finishing salt: as in a finishing sprinkle just before serving will give a dish the perfect combination of complex and unique flavour.
Smoked Sea Salt
Smoked sea salts undergo a slow smoking process, so they absorb bold, heady flavours. Working well as a seasoning when grilling, oven roasting and, most importantly, barbecuing, this salt will impart a rich smokehouse taste. Using this seasoning in your own rubs, sauces and vinaigrettes isn’t a bad idea either.
A classic workhorse salt, kosher is a cheap, large-grain salt that’s made using a commercial process and works well with broad flavours, like seasoning a pork shoulder before slow roasting.
Himalayan Pink Salt
Swap out your ordinary table salt and use coarse Himalayan pink salt for your tabletop mill. It’s the purest salt on the planet and extremely rich in mineral and iron content, so the health benefits alone are incomparable.
Pepper is even more versatile than its saline counterpart—mild, spicy, dry or moist, there’s a pepper for that.
Tellicherry Black Peppercorns
Distinct in rich flavour and excellent aroma, Tellicherry black peppers are aged longer on the vine to grow larger than the regular black variety. They are valued as the finest of peppercorns.
Muntok White Peppercorns
Overly ripened and earthy in aroma, Muntok white peppercorns introduce a creamy tasting spice that is best enjoyed with sauces, soups and seafood dishes. These are favoured over traditional black peppercorns among seasoned cooks.
Sichuan (Szechuan) Peppercorns
The tongue-numbing and sensational flavour-enhancing characteristics of Szechuan peppercorns are ideal for spicy food lovers. Traditionally used in Chinese cuisine, this spice is good to try when cooking duck or chicken. (Or you can attempt your own Chinese five-spice powder.)