Today's chefs accent food with natural, flavor-enhancing salts. Known for their coarse texture, snappy taste, and high mineral content, these beautiful gourmet varieties add color and subtle flair to dishes.

Himalayan pink

Once a year, Nepali workers harvest this salt from a 200-million-year-old fossilized sea. Full of calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, and iron, these sweet pink crystals add a nutritious finish to sliced fruit or tomatoes.

Black lava

Cyprus and Hawaii produce this jet-black salt, which contains activated charcoal with carbon elements that bind to toxins and flush them out of the body. Use this cleansing salt to finish roasted seafood. Or crack it over olive oil to add color and earthy flavor before dressing a salad.

Fleur de sel

Typically harvested off the coast of France, this sea salt has a high mineral content and small crystals. Its mild taste and crisp texture lend to dusting it over a simple omelet or sprinkling it on a crusty piece of buttered bread.

Smoked

About 1,000 years ago, Vikings developed a method for evaporating sea salt over an open fire. Recently, this tradition has been rekindled to impart salt with dusky juniper, cherry, elm, beech, and oak flavors. Sprinkle over a baked potato, corn, or grilled ribs for a hint of barbeque.