It’s one of many new artisan salts to grace food lovers’ tables across the world.
By
The Roo Sisters

1 Sep 2013 - 12:40 PM  UPDATED 27 May 2015 - 4:03 PM

Origins

Would the fact that black volcanic salt isn’t harvested from a volcano put you off using it? It shouldn’t, especially after tasting this 21st century wonder. Dark and gleaming, and with an unbeatable "wow" factor, this is one of many new artisan finishing salts to grace the tables of food lovers across the world. It adds a fascinating dimension to a range of dishes – and is a little bit good for you, too.

Black volcanic salt, or black lava salt, is actually white sea salt flakes or crystals blended with food-grade activated charcoal from volcanic areas. There is no known naturally black volcanic salt, though "Indian black salt" (Kala Namak) comes close. This rock salt does come from a volcano – you can tell from the eggy, sulfurous taste – but is, in fact, a pinkish grey colour.

Cyprus black sea salt has distinctive thin, crisp pyramid-shaped crystals of varying sizes. The flakes can be large but will dissolve easily. This salt should only be used as a finishing condiment: if it’s added to food during cooking, the salt will dissolve and the charcoal will settle to the bottom of the pan, possibly forming an unpleasant residue.

 

Use black volcanic salt on ...

bright or light-coloured foods: try it on a red, white and green Caprese salad of tomato, bocconcini and basil; on slices of pineapple or wedges of lemon; on strawberries or sprinkled over figs with a white cheese such as buffalo mozzarella. It’s magnificent with steak or mushrooms… or just placed in a small dish on the table as a conversation starter!

 

Black volcanic salt goes with ...

seafood, pasta, steak, chicken, sushi, mushrooms, truffles, potatoes, tomatoes, strawberries, pineapple, bread, grilled zucchini, roasted vegetables, lemon.