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Bitterman explains that his love of salt began after eating a sublime steak at a relais on a trip to France. After learning about the cooking method and cut of meat, Bitterman concluded it was the "hefty nuggets of opalescent salt" that were responsible for his unforgettable meal, and he set out to meet the family of salt makers responsible. After opening an artisanal-product boutique with his wife, which includes a showcase of salts, Bitterman takes on the role of official "selmelier." In this entertaining and well-researched volume, he profiles 80 varieties of artisan salts, along with a quick reference guide to more than 150 salts for an easy-to-understand crash course on salt. The text-heavy though beautifully photographed title covers the history of salt and all things related. Recipes round out the work, and although pedestrian dishes such as hamburgers, potato chips, and sauerkraut are included, beginners may be intimidated by sophisticated selections like roasted marrowbones with sel gris; salt crust–roasted partridge with figs and chocolate-balsamic syrup; and jal jeer (an Indian lemonade). An informative and easy-to-follow "Cooking on Salt" chapter just may have the more adventurous home cooks and the DIY crowd running out for their very own Himalayan salt block.

(From Publishers Weekly Oct.) (c)

 

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