Salts Worldwide

A few years ago, I had to put Himalayan salt back in the cabinet, because the Amazonians had made all the money. It was just too expensive to use it for cooking or for baking, but more people were using it as a cooking medium.

It wasn’t only home chefs who were turning to it for new types of recipes: the baking trade has grown rapidly. “I was only baking bread and lasagna,” one patron told me. “But now I’m baking anything and everything, and I have a great deal of flexibility and speed.”

One way to use the all-natural material in baking is to combine it with other ingredients, like huffing, to create new foods. In fact, this type of technique is so common in the United States that there are hundreds of books and websites dedicated to helping cooks do it.

To prepare huffing with salt, begin by mixing a tablespoon of Himalayan salt with a cup of warm water. Then add some mild liquid smoke into the mix, such as maple syrup, and stir it until it’s well combined.

When the mixture is ready, mix it for a few minutes before adding a teaspoonful of honey, and slowly drizzling it over the surface of the cooking liquid. This will cause the honey to evaporate, leaving a white, fluffy steam that creates a sweet smell and taste that’s virtually indistinguishable from a regular dish of huffing.

A treat, but it won’t burn your stove! When the honey has evaporated, take the bowl of honey and break it up using a fork.

Why huffing? Scientists believe that its presence in the water content of this ancient ingredient has allowed it to make foods that are not commonly found on our plate, such as Gorgonzola cheese and caviar.

To use huffing with salt in baking, divide the huffing into small amounts, shake it, and add them to your pot of water and food. A huffing of cornmeal can be used to make breadcrumbs, buns, and pizza dough.

Huffing can also be used to transform rice, in the same way that it does with pasta. First, dry your rice on a paper towel, add some huffing and let it cook for a few minutes before pressing it.

The good thing about huffing is that there’s no question about what you’re eating, and so it doesn’t need to look like anything. If you’ve ever thought that certain dishes look unnatural, this one should change your mind.

Of course, you can’t just use huffing to transform any old cooking recipe. You have to go through a rigorous cooking process to transform a dish into huffing-worthy results.

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