Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Salty Sweets

My niece and her husband, Natalie and Christopher, just came back from a fabulous birthday-surprise trip to Iceland.  By all accounts, it was a very cool excursion to an exotic Nordic land of glaciers, volcanoes, black-pebble beaches, hot springs spas, and northern lights.

In addition to other cool Icelandic goodies, they brought me back some lovely Icelandic Black Lava Salt.  Instantly I'm thinking of having a taste on some crusty bread spread with unsweetened butter, just like they do in Iceland.

But I'm also dreaming of using it as a finishing salt on some of my own baked goods ... sprinkled over sugared puff pastries, tarts, cookies or cupcakes!

Salt has become a very popular taste accent and finishing touch in many desserts in recent years.  Just about every sweet shop, restaurant or coffee shop offers salted sweets on their menu:  Salted caramel shakes, salted chocolate truffles, salted toffee ice cream, salted mocha lattes, etc., etc.

But 40 years ago, when I was a child, my Mom would make us hot chocolate and sprinkle a dash of salt into each mug before handing them to us.  She would tell us that a dash of salt brings out the sweetness of the chocolate even more.  She was right, of course.  We all know that now.  Little did we realize then that our Mom was a gourmet cook serving us Salted Hot Chocolate our entire childhood!  What can I say?  She always was ahead of her time and quite the trendsetter, not to mention a fabulous cook in her own right.  ;-)

But even though salted chocolate is nothing new around here, I've never tried Icelandic Black Lava Salt before!  So I'm very much looking forward to experiencing a new taste sensation!

What new flavor combinations have you tried lately?  Herbs in your desserts?  Fruit in your green salads?  We like trying new flavor profiles whenever we can.  They often turn out to be surprisingly delightful!

Hope you enjoy culinary adventures, too!

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  1. You are so right, Ada. So many of the "fancy" or "nouveau" ingredients and preparations I see these days on the cooking networks and magazines were already been used and implemented by our moms decades ago in their everyday cooking.

    That's why we are foodies - we've had good home cooking since the cradle!

    1. Absolutely! Our moms definitely knew what they were doing in the kitchen. Call it retro, or everything old is new again, but many of those old tried-and-true tips and techniques are still the best. Thanks for reading!