Friday, August 30, 2013

Mind power, Swede. Mind power!

If you read Robyn Straley's blog (and if not, why not?) you know that I recently tied for second/first place in her very first reader contest. If you were wondering what I won, then wonder no longer!

Handful of Salt
Handful of Salt magazine (which Robyn writes for!,) pistachios, foil stars ("as a 'grown up' you have to give them to yourself," says Robyn) Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (which I have not read, and looks awesome,) The Space Swimmers (which I have not read, and looks awesomely horrible,) Bon Apppetit magazine, Hibiscus Tea, Salt from the Meadow, and a test tube o' salt from Robyn's wedding favors.

And, for some reason, my foodsaver and coffee maker are crashing the picture. I call that vanity.

Big thanks to Robyn Straley for these prizes!

Which I will now review.

What? Did you expect any less? Reviewing stuff is in my blood. You can't throw the Frisbee and expect me not to chase it. For today, let's stick to the salty items, running from least to most salty.

What can I say about pistachios that hasn't already been said about crack cocaine? They're the most delicious and gratifying type of nut, by a wide margin. If you're not eating pistachios right now, it must be because you don't have any.

Salt Wedding Favor
I was immediately pleased with this salt, because it came in a test tube. I have a fondness for all things that come from test tubes, with the exception of my neighbor's baby.

Let's give this salt a proper test drive by making one of my favorite salty dishes: recursifried rice. Recursifried rice—a dish of my own invention—is made just like regular fried rice, except that you start with rice that's already been fried. If you get it right, the finished rice should have the consistency of hash browns and the taste of pure joy. Oh and, if you're watching your calorie intake, it's a good idea to hold each bite in your chopsticks for a few seconds before eating, to let some of the oil drip out.

Fried Rice

This time, I used less soy sauce and made up the difference with salt from the test tube. The result? Magic! The salt really brings out the flavor of the rice, and the reduced soy sauce ensures that the rice provides the primary flavor of the dish, rather than mere texture. It makes for a less sophisticated but bolder taste that I found very pleasing.

I give this salt a gold star.

Turkish Black Pyramid Salt (note: not the street name of anything)
Finishing Salt
I'm going to be honest here: I feel unworthy of this salt. And it's not just me. My other salts also resent it. I caught my iodized salt giving this Turkish Black Pyramid Salt the kind of nasty look that I reserve for people who hire a maid service to do their laundry because, as they say, "who has time for that?" (Answer: every single person in the world who can't afford a maid service, jackass.)

Aaaanyway. I decided to bring this Turkish Black Pyramid Salt down a few pegs by putting it on the least classy dish I could think of: a toasted cheese.

Toasted Cheese

I sprinkled it on lightly because, as I discovered on a prototype toasted-cheese that I made earlier, a little bit goes a long way. I don't know how the hell this salt, which is salt and activated charcoal, can be saltier than regular salt, which is just salt, but somehow it is.

So let's put it through its paces. I'm taking a bite now and... Okay, that is fucking delicious.

Just call me Lommy Greenhands, because I yield. I set out to conquer the salt, but the salt conquered me. How did this happen? Well, the Turkish Black Pyramid Salt adds a bit of its own woody flavor, but mainly it works by bringing out the flavor of the cheddar. Cheddar is glorious, so anything that increases its contribution is equally glorious. The salt also gives an interesting, crackly texture to the middle of the toasted cheese, which is usually boring, compared to the crunchy crust.

I therefore declare Turkish Black Pyramid Salt the winner.

Well, that's it for this time, but I'll be back soon to review the rest of this prize package. In the meantime, if you want to learn more about salt, visit your local library Other-Robyn's blog!

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