The Joy of Salt
In The Joy of Salt, James Beard Award–winning author Naomi Duguid takes the same approach of researcher, storyteller, and chef that garnered praise and fandom for her previous books Burma and Taste of Persia, but this time focuses on the world’s single most important food ingredient. Through stories, instructions, and over 100 recipes, Duguid illuminates the many foods born from the power of salt—charcuterie, butter, soy sauce, kimchi and sauerkraut, bacalao, and miso—unearthing their importance to their native cuisine and offering home-friendly recipes that highlight the nuances of salt’s flavor. To start, an elevated larder, from Sichuan pepper salt and Japanese gomasio to salt preserved lemons and Moroccan herbed butter, transform one’s cooking arsenal. Then, recipes for vegetables, salads, soups, grains, fish, meat, dairy and more explore the importance of salt in creating depths of umami, savory, and sour flavor. Orange and Black Olive Salad is a balance of Mediterranean tangy and salty. A Bacalao Tortilla celebrates salt cod as a cornerstone of European kitchens. Shio Koji–Marinated Grilled Fish teaches how salt-based products can flavor a dish without any additional salt added. A deep dive into kimchi has recipes for five different takes, and later recipes show the versatility of this fermented staple across many different cuisines. Desserts bring sweet and salty into perfect harmony with recipes for Tamarind Ice Cream with Chocolate Chips and Yogurt Cake with Salted Lemon and Nuts. Sprinkled throughout are snapshots of places where salt is harvested, ingredient profiles for important products, and stories of how salt has impacted histories and cultures. In all, The Joy of Salt answers the once overlooked questions of what salt is, where it comes from, what it does, and how to unlock its flavor to its full potential.