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How to Cook with Celtic Sea Salt

A chef adds salt to a bowl

Every kitchen has salt, and most kitchens have more than one type. Often overlooked in favor of its more popular counterparts like Himalayan or table salt, Celtic sea salt has a distinct flavor profile and nutritious composition that sets it apart. Let’s dive into some Celtic sea salt uses and what makes this salt so special.

What Is Celtic Sea Salt?

A scoop of Celtic sea salt
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Often referred to as sel gris or gray salt, Celtic sea salt is a type of unrefined, natural salt that originates from the coastal regions of France. Unlike typical table salt, which undergoes refining and processing, Celtic sea salt retains its natural moisture and many essential minerals.

Its distinctive gray color comes from the clay found in the salt flats where it is harvested. When used in cooking, this salt delivers a burst of briny, slightly sweet flavor that can elevate any dish, from your everyday meals to gourmet creations.

The Celtic salt harvesting process is steeped in centuries-old tradition. The seawater is guided into shallow clay ponds, known as salines, where it evaporates under the sun and wind, leaving behind the salt. This salt is then carefully raked by hand, a method that allows the salt to keep its natural composition and beneficial trace elements. The harvesters, known as paludiers, take great care to preserve the salt’s moisture and maintain its unique texture and flavor.

Celtic, Sea Salt Fine Ground Shaker

The convenient shaker makes this salt easy to use in everyday cooking.

How Is Celtic Sea Salt Different From Other Salt

A bowl of gray sea salt
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The world of salt is diverse and fascinating, with each type containing its own unique characteristics and flavor profiles. Celtic sea salt is known for its robust, briny flavor that contains a slight sweetness. This type of salt greatly enhances the natural flavors of the food it’s paired with, making it a favorite among chefs and food enthusiasts.

Its unique grayish hue, from which it gets its moniker ‘gray salt’, sets it apart from the common white table salt. Unlike finely ground table salt, Celtic salt has a moist, chunky texture due to the minerals and natural seawater it retains. This gives it a satisfying crunch when used as a finishing salt.

What truly distinguishes Celtic sea salt is its high mineral content. It is rich in trace minerals like magnesium, calcium, and potassium. These not only contribute to its distinct flavor but also add a nutritional punch to your dishes.

Viva Doria Sel Gris French Light Grey Sea Salt

French gray sea salt contains an array of essential minerals and trace elements that are naturally present in seawater.

How to Use Celtic Sea Salt When Cooking

A man sprinkles salt on a plate
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Choosing the right seasoning for your meals can turn them into incredible culinary experiences. And when it comes to a versatile and flavor-enhancing ingredient, Celtic sea salt is hard to beat.

If you’re wondering how to cook with Celtic sea salt, the most important thing to remember is that it works best as a finishing salt. This means that it is typically applied to foods just before serving. Here are just a few Celtic sea salt uses:

  • Steak and seafood: Celtic sea salt’s coarse texture makes it perfect for steak and seafood. Sprinkle a pinch just before serving to complement the flavors of the meat.
  • Vegetables: Toss your veggies in olive oil and a sprinkle of Celtic sea salt before roasting. The salt helps to enhance the natural flavors of the vegetables.
  • Soups and stews: The rich, briny flavor of Celtic sea salt brings out the depth of flavors in homemade soups and stews. Add a pinch at the end of cooking for a flavor boost.
  • Salads: A touch of Celtic sea salt can brighten up a fresh salad. Just remember to add it just before serving to maintain its crunch and characteristic flavor.

As with any ingredient, the key to getting the most from Celtic sea salt lies in moderation. Since it’s richer in flavor than regular table salt, you’ll need less of it to achieve your desired taste. Start with a small amount, and adjust according to your preference.

Guerande 'Fleur De Sel' Sea Salt

This salt comes straight from the coasts of France.

Enhance your culinary adventures with the unique and mineral-rich Celtic sea salt. Learn how to cook with Celtic sea salt and how to embrace this kitchen staple.

Anne Taylor Anne Taylor
Anne Taylor is a writer with a BA in Journalism and a passion for storytelling. Her work has been published on a variety of websites including Mental Floss and Well + Good, and she recently published her first novel, What it Takes to Lose. When she's not writing, Anne loves to travel (19 countries and counting), spend time outside, and play with her dog, Pepper. Read Full Bio »
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