Thursday, November 22, 2012

Beyond The Shaker Sponsor Spotlight Review

Wow, have I got some new cooking and baking secrets to share with you! I figured since it is Thanksgiving and I just reviewed the Roaster for the turkey, we needed to talk about some seasonings for the meal and the turkey. I ran across this company quite by accident and wasn't really sure what to expect but when he sent me some gourmet salts to try, I was hooked!

The ones above are the samples of several salts and then I got a full size shaker of the one I soon discovered was my VERY favorite, the Chanterelle Vanilla premium gourmet salt! Wow, this stuff will excite you in ways you won't imagine when it makes your food pop out at you!

The one in the bottle is the Chanterelle Vanilla below:

Now, here is a list of the other salts I got to try:

1.) Garlic Shallot
2.) Citrus Basil
3.) Hot Habanero Blend
4.) Cyprus Black Lava
5.) French Herb Blend

Now, for the Chanterelle Vanilla, this is what is in that bottle that rocked our boat:  Hawaiian Black Lava salt, chanterelle mushrooms, Madagascar vanilla beans, organic maple sugar, organic garlic, organic shallot and black truffle panko.

Gosh, I never tasted anything quite like it! I actually added it to some chili the other night and even my husband said, something tastes different and then I showed him the bottle. Mike is a little finicky so it's best to not show him things until he eats it because if he knows ahead of time, he won't budge. And sure enough, when he read about Hawaiian Black Lava salt, he immediately said, are you sure this is safe to eat? 

Well, duh, I don't think people all over the world would be buying it if there was a problem. I told him I bet we would be surprised at what might be behind a chef's door at our favorite restaurant. They may be using the same gourmet salts that we are trying. So, that calmed him down some. See what I have to go thru?

Now, I won't do this with every salt because I don't have room or time, but because this was my favorite, I am going to give out a little more info. There is alot to tell so to see what they say about where it comes from and their experiences with the salt, go read about it thru this link. You won't be sorry because your mouth will water after reading about this awesome vanilla salt!

Here is what this salt would be good on per the makers, Beyond the Shaker:
  • Sprinkle on pan-fried trout
  • Blend into a spinach omelet
  • Rub onto lamb or venison prior to grilling
  • Finish braised fennel bulbs with this blend
  • Add to linguine with clams
  • Atop a ratatouille of grilled root vegetables
  • In any slow-cook application, like braised chicken legs
  • Sprinkle on cooked and blended cannellini beans for a great dip
  • Added to chicken broth stock
  • Atop a basic garden lettuce salad with radish and carrot
  • On a freshly fried calamari
  • With any wilted greens (try chard)
  • In a savory tart of sautéed onions and other vegetables
  • On breaded fillets of sole
  • Sprinkled on sautéed cauliflower
  • In creamy carrot or leek soup

    The next salt is the French Herb Blend. This one is said to be good on these type of foods:  Crazy-good on french fries, seared halibut, cold turkey breast (thinly sliced), or grilled cheese with tomato & avocado. I think with the mixture that it has, Italian would be my guess as to where it might be best used, here is the main ingredients:  Fleur de sel, organic oregano, rosemary, thyme, basil, fennel, lavender, and black truffle panko. Or it could go great on a lovely salad and even a great potato salad I am thinking.  Because it has lavender in it, my all time favorite scent and tea flavor, I could probably eat this with anything, but Mike wouldn't.

    Oh, this next one is the one that caused the moment of panic, Cyprus Black Lava. It comes from the Mediterranean Sea area.  This is probably one of the purest salts and true to it's nature as it only has 2 ingredients: Pure unrefined sea salt and natural black lava. They really do actually look like pieces of small burnt rocks! Here are a few suggestions for this salt that is black and highly unusual:

  • Sautéed leeks
  • Buttery breadsticks
  • Grilled halibut
  • Salt and pepper shrimp

  • Now, this one I had to pass on because of my chronic bladder condition and I don't need to mess with it so hubby had control of this one, the Hot Habanero Blend.  I don't touch anything that has those words in it because I would be in extreme pain within hours of ingesting something hot. 

    Now, Mike loved this one and added some to his chili and to his salsa when he was eating chips and salsa the other night.

    Here is what is in this salt:  Hawaiian Black Lava salt, Hawaiian Red Alaea salt, ancho peppers, habanero peppers, mulato peppers, guajillo peppers, organic carrots and organic cilantro.

    No wonder he has heartburn! But he doesn't care, he loves it while he's eating and then is uncomfortable afterwards. Don't understand that logic but at least it's not me!

    Here is just a few examples of what to use this for although I wouldn't use it on the last suggestion, but you might:

  • Mexican-style seafood marinade (add the blend to lime juice and toss in a ziplock bag with firm fish or shrimp)
  • Sprinkle on the top of crab cakes (for extra flavor add bell pepper to a traditional crab cake recipe)
  • South of the Border Salad (mix blend with lettuce, diced avocado, green onion, romano cheese, refried beans, a squeeze of lime and a touch of vinegar)
  • Mexican-style barbeque sauce or rub
  • Tamales (add to dough mixture or cheese filling)
  • Rim the glass of a frozen lime margarita

  • Now, this one and the other last one are probably the two mildest and can be used in almost anything. Citrus Basil is awesome on grilled fish and on any kind of seafood for that matter. As you can see from the ingredients this is really a lemony tasting salt and would be good on anything that you served with it.

    These are the ingredients:  Fleur de sel, Murray River Salt, lemon myrtle, organic basil, and organic orange & lemon peel.

    These are just a few suggestions. There is more on their site, so go check it out to see what you think:

  • Sprinkled on a vinegar-based coleslaw
  • Atop a potato and gruyere cheese gratin
  • Added to creamy artichoke dip
  • Mixed with olive oil and drizzled over steamy pasta
  • Sprinkled on deveined shrimp prior to grilling
  • On steamed cauliflower or broccoli
  • As a finishing touch to steamed white asparagus
  • In gingerbread or ginger cookies
  • On fried smelt or perch

  • Then the last one is the Garlic Shallot  and if you love garlic like I do, then this is gonna make you  smile because they ended up with a really great  Garlic Shallot salt that I would be proud to serve anytime, whether at home or in someone else's helping prepare the meal.  It has my favorite Himalayan pink sherpa salt in it so I could go for this one also big time!

    Here are the ingredients: Fleur de sel, Himalayan pink salt, organic garlic, & organic shallot.

    Again, I did not copy the whole list because of space, so if you want more ideas on what to use this for, go on their website and get all the info that you need. Here is what they think it goes best with (partial list) and I tend to agree: 
  • Almost any roasted vegetable
  • Grilled swordfish steaks
  • Chilled beet soup
  • Thickly sliced tomatoes
  • Chicken rice soup
  • Shrimp scampi
  • Marinara sauce
  • Creamy garlic pasta
  • Baked potato
  • Grilled corn on the cob

  • And guess what, this is not the complete list of gourmet salts either! There are still alot more that I did not review and if you want to know, then go look up Beyond the Shaker and see what all they have and what they have to say that they have tried. You will be amazed at some of the combinations!

    Beyond the Shaker offers free shipping on all orders that are over $35 and you can request  salt samples and they come in either packs of 8 for $13.50 or you can order just a few as they sell for individually for $1.50 until you make up your mind which ones are your favorites.

    Here is a little fun fact that I thought I would throw in as I close this review: 
    Harvesting salt is the oldest form of collecting salt. This salt—sometimes referred to as solar salt—comes from our current water sources and is separated from the sea water by evaporation.  
    Harvested salt is nurtured, grown, and harvested much like a traditional farm crop. The crop beds, though, consist of water instead of earth and can take years to reach the desired maturity for proper harvesting.  
    The evaporation process for harvested salt may also occur with a little help from modern technology to hasten the evaporation without compromising the integrity of the salt 
     Connect with Beyond the Shaker several ways:

    Mailing Address:
    124-A Cummings Park
    Woburn, MA 01801
    Phone:  888.281.SALT (7258)

    The great folks at Beyond the Shaker are leaving it up to me which one of these salts you will get in the full size bottle and I think you know that it's the Chanterelle Vanilla but then I got to thinking I shouldn't force what I like on you so, I will make that one of the questions in the Holiday Turkey Hunt Blog Hop Giveaway and whatever your answer is when or if you get picked, that will be the one I turn it for you. So, think it over very carefully which one of these that I just reviewed do you think you would like the most. Please understand that it has to be from this list that I reviewed.  Good Luck! The Event starts on November 23rd and ends on December 7th. Open to the U.S. only!

    Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours.


    Kathryn Merkel said...

    Decisions, decisions. They all sound fantastic, even the Habanero one, although I would gift that to one of my heat loving friends, rather than ingest it myself.

    I've got to go with the Garlic Shallot flavor, since that list of ideas for where to use it matches my families favorite meals list.

    Laura said...

    I love that there are suggestions for what the flavors go best with because sometimes I see flavors, like the Chanterelle Vanilla for instance, and they sound good but I'm not quite sure how to incorporate them into my cooking.

    DONNA CHEATLE said...

    These sound amazing! Just like your husband, mine isn't much for adventure when it comes to food. I pretty much have to sneak changes into the menu and surprise him, lol

    Elle S. said...

    I think I would try the citrus basil on top of a bruschetta!