The pros: Trader Joe's 7 Salts of the Earth is a gift set that has returned again this year to Trader Joe's.
The cons: This is a seasonal item and your local Trader Joe's may have limited availability.
The verdict: If I were you tell you a salt joke, then wouldn't that be a salt? Get it? Assault. Ok, I'll stop. All kidding aside, all salt is technically Sodium Chloride. So if all salt is just an ionic compound, then what makes this set special or even worth buying? There are going to be two schools of thought on this gift: 1) Yay! A gift for someone chef-y and 2) this is completely unnecessary because salt is salt. Whether you are buying this for yourself, giving this to someone else or perhaps you've been given this salty gift. The next logical thing is to figure out what to do with it.
Now, this is not a set for everyone. These are not the types of salt that I would put in a pasta or potato pot. You'll lose all of the flavor nuances that are present. So how could you use them? These might be best as finishing salts. Something that you put on a food or drink item at the last minute just prior to consuming. Or add them to the rim of a margarita glass. Or sprinkle them on some chocolate or caramel just prior to consumption. Some of these will be best paired with meat. All the salt is very coarse and is much larger than kosher salt.
Here are the nuances that I got from each:
Kalahari Dessert Salt- Looks like a natural salt but very coarse. The flavor here reminded me of going to the beach. It's that same intense saltiness. I did not notice any other flavors.
Hawaiian Black Lava Salt- . Aside from the show stopping color which would be a great contrast to a food that is light in color, this had a less dense texture and but I wasn't picking up any flavors beyond just salt. For suggested uses, check out Beyond the Shaker.
Hawaiian Red Salt- The color here comes from oxide rich clay giving it the familiar rust colored hue. Like the black salt, this is neutral in taste and just tastes like salt. It's still a cool color.
Inca Sun Salt- No out of the ordinary flavors, but reminded me if of the taste of the grey salt that I own (that is not part of the set). It still just tasted like coarse salt to me.
Blue Persian Salt- Isn't as blue as you might think but has some blue specks throughout. This salt likely comes from Iran. Not as intensely salty as the Kalahari Dessert Salt.
Himalayan Pink Salt- This is probably the most common of all specialty salts. You have probably seen them as a salt block or perhaps as a lamp. Trader Joe's does sell this one individually. This is a bit softer in flavor than regular salt and seems to have some mild other mineral flavors that are hard to describe.
South African Oak Smoked Salt- This will likely be the first one gone. It adds smoky flavor and would best be paired with meat or anything that would be better smoked. This you can taste the oak right through. I'd like to buy a bigger jar of this.
For $8.99 this is a set that will last me a long time. These are larger salt grains than typical kosher salt or table salt, so only use it in moderation. It's been a fun set to buy and try, but with the notable exception of the smoked salt, these were all just coarse salt.
Here is the visual run down of what you get if you buy this product:
The box of Trader Joe's 7 Salts of the Earth:
How Trader Joe's describes this:
Opening the package of Trader Joe's 7 Salts of the Earth:
If you live nowhere near a Trader Joe's and this is a must have there people who do list this item on Amazon.com
Would I buy this again? Na. Ha ha. Get it. It's the periodic symbol for sodium. I hope I'm not the only one giggling at that. But truthfully, there are some good elements in Trader Joe's 7 Salts of the Earth, but the problem is compounded by the fact that most of this just salt at the end of the day. Pardon my salty humor, I couldn't resist.
Want to see more items I've reviewed from Trader Joe's? Click on Thoughts & Reviews of Trader Joe’s for a searchable list.
Did you try it? Let me know what you think in the comments section, but please don't a salt me too many of them because periodically I do respond to them.