Salt is absolutely essential to cooking and baking. Simply said, salt makes food taste more like itself -- in moderation of course. Below are Martha's six favorite kinds of salt; the best way to understand their subtle differences is to experiment using them on different dishes.
Haleakala Red Sea Salt
Medicinal clay from the Aloha Islands in Hawaii gives these crystals their pink hue and nutty flavor. $29.50 for 12 ounces; for more information visit hawaiikaico.com.
Esprit Du Sel French Grey
Collected by hand from the marshes surrounding the French island Re, this natural sea salt pairs well with grilled meat and vegetables. $7.50 for 14.3 ounces; for more information, visit saltworks.us.
Maldon Sea Salt
Pyramid-shaped white flakes and an intense flavor make this salt from Essex England one of Martha's favorites. $6.50 for 8.5 ounces; for more information, visit saltworks.us.
Stonewall Kitchen Maine Sea Salt
Sun-dried in Bailey Island, Maine, this unrefined sea salt has a robust flavor. $10 for 6 ounces; for more information, visit stonewallkitchen.com.
Japanese Sea Salt with Matcha
Infused with high-grade Japanese green tea powder, this salt makes a wonderful finishing touch to any meal. $17.95 for 4.5 ounces; for more information, visit nirmalaskitchen.com.
Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt
With a clean flavor great for both cooking and baking, this salt is a kitchen essential. $3 for 3 pounds; diamond crystal kosher salt is available at supermarkets.