These aren't your great aunt's kitschy collection of shakers—and they're not filled with Morton's. One unpredicted outcome of the 'foodie' movement going mainstream has been the ascendancy of gourmet salts based on terroir. Hand-in-hand with this has come a new take on an old trend to show off your sodium snobbery --home cooks setting out casual and communal bowls of salt on the table and keeping bowls of exotic salts near the stove.
Does this encourage a certain adventurousness while cooking – tossing Himalayan Pink here, throwing a pinch of Salish Smoked there? Would only the most sophisticated of palates be able to tell the difference? Regardless—kitchenware designers have definitely honed in on the trend and have delivered some beautiful (and practical) accessories.
There are generally two types of salt vessels: those with a lid that are typically found near the stove for cooking, and those without a lid called a salt dip or salt dish that usually comes with a small spoon so that the vessel may be passed around the table. Here's a few that may inspire you to think twice about putting out the S&P shakers.
Shown above, left to right:
• Nio – 90mm Blue Glass Bowl with Spoon: $22.00 at Unica Home
This salt dish will definitely cause a stir. In Medieval times salt was so valued that it was displayed in elaborate containers and a guest's social status would be determined by how close they sat to this dish. This piece by Oliver Hemming deserves to sit prominently on the table, and closest to your most noteworthy guest, of course.
• Tiny Basket: $26 at Perch! Design
There is a certain femininity to the organic and fluid shape of this ceramic dish. Such a simple thing as salt gets a modern twist in this ceramic basket.
• Glass Salt Cellar with Lid: $7.95 at Crate & Barrel
Simple utilitarianism strikes a handsome form. Made from clear, jelly jar-like glass it speaks of a simpler time when salt was the one of the few spices used in the family kitchen.
• Wood Condiment Cups: $9.95 for set of six at Sur la Table
Wood is such a tactile and warm material. Place one cup filled with salt next to each plate and your guests will feel incredibly welcome at your table.
• Enamelware Salt Container: $14.99 at Yankee Bullmoose
For those looking for a traditional salt cellar to keep near the cook top look no further than this enamelware piece. It may be straightforward but it's got a conventional style that withstands the heavy use of the hard working chef.
Looking for some interesting salt to fill your containers? Check out these online salt stores: