Chow Bella

Local Spots to Source Gourmet Salts

Need a salt fix? Never tried vanilla sea salt? Want to try salt on ice cream? (Trust us, it's a winner.) Salt has moved out of the cupboard to take its place as the seasoning of choice, so if there's no sea salt to be found in your house, it's time to start shopping.

Among local grocery stores, AJ's ( is a sure bet. A steady selection of global sea salts from most of the continents is always on hand. AJ's has a great selections of Hawaiian sea salt, including the red, for around $3. Plus, it's one of the only grocery stores to consistently carry more than one kind of kosher sea salt. They are different, with respect to texture, so give them a try and find one you like.

Whole Foods ( is a solid second choice, followed by Trader Joe's ( Whole Foods gets the nod with respect to selection, but Trader Joe's wins the price wars, especially black sea salt at around $5.

Sur La Table's ( selection is a home run -- this place is on the forefront of salt trends. The next big thing involves cooking on blocks of Himalayan sea salt, and you heard it here first! For specialty stores, the Scottsdale location (3310 N Hayden Rd.) of Wisconsin-based Penzey's ( is an easy win. With over 250 spices, blends, and salts, you'd be hard pressed to find a better selection of spices and seasonings at a great price, like their kosher salt for around $2 a pound. Their knowledgeable staff can help and answer any questions.

Wondering what to do with your expanding collection of salt? Come back tomorrow, as chef Carol Blonder shares a recipe she's created that combines salmon, salt, and tequila.

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Sloane Burwell
Contact: Sloane Burwell