Salt has always been used in the world´s cuisine leading to a variety of uses due to its versatility. These are just some of them...
Salt in its refined form is used as seasoning to improve the flavour and aroma of food to make it more appetising. The hand-crafted versions on the other hand such as fleur de sel (salt blossoms) are used mainly to finish off the preparation due to their delicate and gentle nature, bringing out the aromas and flavours to take recipes to a different level.
This may be the purpose that made salt into an ingredient that is worth its weight in gold. Its way of acting on the ingredients to dehydrate them and the antibacterial properties of salt which allows food to be preserved free of bacteria led to the storage of food such as dried meat and fish to meet the scarcity of food in hard times.
Fortunately today, without this necessity, salted products such as codfish which is so popular in Portugal continue to be consumed for the sole reason that they are both tasty and traditional.
Brine is a liquid solution that is high in salt content. In gastronomy it is used for the preserving of food such as pickles or olives for example or for marinating meat or fish before cooking.
This technique allows raw food to rest for hours in a solution of oil, wine, salt, garlic, bay and other aromatic herbs that give them an extra dimension of aroma, flavour and texture after cooking.