James Beard Cookbook Award Winner. IACP Cookbook Award Finalist in two categories.
Mark Bitterman is a man truly possessed by salt. As “selmelier” at The Meadow, the internationally recognized artisan-product boutique, Bitterman explains the promise and allure of salt to thousands of visitors from across the country who flock to his showstopping collection. “Salt can be a revelation,” he urges, “no food is more potent, more nutritionally essential, more universal, or more ancient. No other food displays salt’s crystalline beauty, is as varied, or as storied.”
In Salted, Bitterman traces the mineral’s history, from humankind’s first salty bite to its use in modern industry to the resurgent interest in artisan salts. Featuring more than 50 recipes that showcase this versatile and marvelous ingredient, Salted also includes a field guide to artisan salts profiling 80 varieties and exploring their dazzling characters, unique stories, production methods, and uses in cooking; plus a quick-reference guide covering over 150 salts. Salting is one of the more ingrained habits in cooking, and according to Bitterman, all habits need to be questioned. He challenges you to think creatively about salting, promising that by understanding and mastering the principles behind it—and becoming familiar with the primary types of artisanal salts available—you will be better equipped to get the best results for your individual cooking style and personal taste. Whether he’s detailing the glistening staccato crunch of fleur de sel harvested from millennia-old Celtic saltmaking settlements in France or the brooding sizzle of forgotten rock salts transported by the Tauregs across the Sahara, Bitterman’s mission is to encourage us to explore the dazzling world of salt beyond the iodized curtain.
Winner – 2011 James Beard Cookbook Award – Reference & Scholarship Category
About the Author
Mark Bitterman's pursuit of bitters started as a child with a surreptitious sip at a family cocktail party. The spicy-bitter-sweet-stinging taste sparked a lifelong wanderlust for flavor. Decades later Bitterman opened the Meadow and began selling the largest selection of bitters in the world at all three locations. A renowned ingredient expert, Bitterman won a James Beard Award for his first book, "Salted. "He has been featured in the" New York Times, Splendid Table, Food & Wine, Bizarre Foods, "and countless other media. It has been speculated that Bitterman's family name, which has Ashkenazic roots in Bulgaria, proves that bitters is in his DNA.
“This illustrated volume changed the way I cook.”
“As the FDA considers lower salt standards for Americans, salt has never been a hotter chef's ingredient. This is part cookbook (Roasted Peaches in Bourbon Syrup with Smoked Salt), part salt tract (positing "Five Rules of Strategic Salting)," part reference tome.”
—Cooking Light, Favorite Cookbooks, 2010
“This book isn't really a cookbook, not in the recipe-driven sense of the word. It's more of a user guide, and an inspiring one at that. From the lively introduction, in which Bitterman recounts his first experience with sea salt, to the geeky chapters on the history and science of the stuff, to the slim selection of recipes broken into categories like "brining," "curing," "salt crust" and "cooking on salt blocks," this book is aimed at inspiring and educating people on the virtues of natural salt.”
—Portland Oregonian, Best of 2010, 12/21/10
“Flipping through the stellar new Salted: A Manifesto on the World's Most Essential Mineral With Recipes, we are reminded that the world is made up of so much more than fleur de sel. You could buy a bottle of $15 tequila to gift along with the book, but you get the sense author Mark Bitterman would consider that a margarita sacrilege on par with using kosher salt ("a battery-operated puppy with no hair, trying to comfort you with its soulless antics"). After all, you're handing over a book written by a man who uses sel gris, three full cups of the pricey French salt, in his preserved lemons recipe.”
—LA Weekly, Squid Ink blog, Top 10 Cookbook And Drink Gift Pairings, 12/14/10
“My pick for personal favorite of the season is Salted: A Manifesto on the World’s Most Essential Mineral, with Recipes by Mark Bitterman, which I’ve enthusiastically blurbed. My reverence for salt is bettered only by Bitterman’s who sells salt and chocolate at The Meadow. Bitterman writes well about the history of salt, the amazing array of salts available, and offers numerous recipes and techniques for using these salts.”
—Michael Ruhlman, Books for the Holidays, 12/13/10
“I am a walking salt lick and Mark Bitterman’s Salted more than satisfies. Described as a manifesto, the title contains a useful “Salt Reference Guide” of 150 salts, many of which are Asian in provenance. . . . Salt is salty but if you want to explore their subtle differences, get Salted!”
—Andrea Nguyen, Viet World Kitchen, 2010 Cookbook Picks, 12/11/10
“You might be one of those people who think, ‘Salt? What’s the big deal?’ But turn the pages of this major treatise on the various kinds of salts from around the world (including how they’re harvested and what makes them so special), and you’ll learn what to do with them as well. Mark Bitterman is a selmelier who owns an artisanal-product boutique that specializes in salt. But you don’t need to take a trip there to learn all about salt. Salted is going to be my go-to reference when I find a new type of salt and am wondering what to do with it.”
—DavidLebovitz.com, Favorite Cookbooks of 2010, 12/6/10
“Salt is so essential to cooking that a volume on the topic might seem redundant. Not for Mark Bitterman: His book gets into geeky detail about salt types for flavor academics. However, the "Salting" section, which outlines tips and tricks for coaxing flavor out of your meal with the mineral, is very useful for home cooks.”
—Tasting Table National, 12/3/10
“In the intimidating world of artisan salts, Salted is our new road map and companion. This book is a trove of good information and we will certainly return to its pages again and again.”
“Salt is one of those ingredients that isn’t often dealt with at length, yet is elemental to the craft of cuisine. In his book, Mark Bitterman seeks to educate the cook on the creativity, flavor, and quality that can be enhanced in a dish by using the correct salt. He approaches his subject scientifically, economically, culturally, and nutritionally. . . .After absorbing Salted the reader will understand Cassiodorus’ belief that ‘man can live without gold… but not without salt.’”
—StarChefs.com, Top 10 Cookbooks 2010, November 2010
"Everyone writes about exotic salts but no one says how to use them beyond saying sprinkling them on steak and tomatoes, says [Amy] Sherman, 'but Bitterman does.'"
—FoxNews.com, The Fox Foodie: Sixteen Sweet Cookbooks, 11/30/10
"Whether your only exposure to salt is the box of kosher in your cupboard or you’ve got a gourmet line up, Salted makes an excellent gift for the foodie that has it all."
—Guest blogger Kathy Casey, Al Dente, Amazon food blog, 11/15/10
"In Salted, Mark Bitterman (sommelier at The Meadow in Portland, Oregon) profiles 80 artisan varieties of the magical ingredient. When you’re done geeking out, the recipes — popcorn salted six ways, mango salsa with Hawaiian black lava salt — satisfy cravings."
—DailyCandy, The Best New Fall Cookbooks, 11/12/10
"His new book Salted lays it all out methodically, but the text is far from dry or academic for such an info-packed tome. Bitterman is a great writer, his conversational is clear and funny and, yes, occasionally salty. Though I'm deliberately taking my time to soak up Salted, especially the history and the particulars of each type of salt, reading this book has already caused a sea change in my kitchen."
—Al Dente, Amazon food blog, 11/2/10
"Salted is transformative; it will change the way you cook."
—The Christian Science Monitor, 6 best food books coming this fall, 9/16/10
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. (Oct.)
—Publishers Weekly, 9/20/10
“Salted is a remarkable work. Written with uncommon energy and style and packed with excellent information and recipes, this book should be considered a must-have for any chef worth their salt and anyone who cares about food and cooking. I love this book.”
—Michael Ruhlman, author of Ratio, The Making of a Chef, Charcuterie, and co-author of The French Laundry Cookbook
“Salted has a transformative effect. Mark embraces not only those magical crystals but also captures you with his passion for people and exploring the diversity of food and salt. His irrepressible will to learn and share is expressed in his writing.”
—Michael Recchiuti, chocolatier, author of Chocolate Obsession
“In this day and age it is imperative to not only know where our food comes from but also to learn about the very thing that brings out all of the flavors we tirelessly source—salt. In Salted, Mark Bitterman takes us on an epic journey, distilling everything from salt’s early formation in the primordial ocean to thoughtful recipes and detailed tasting notes on many of the world’s finest artisanal salts. A virtual encyclopedia of salt, Salted is a wonderful resource for cooks and lovers of great food everywhere.”
—Naomi Pomeroy, chef-owner of Beast Restaurant, James Beard nominee, Food & Wine Best New Chef