Forget Morton's Salt

The saline seasoning has gone gourmet with tasty--and colorful--varieties from around the world

James Worrell for TIME

Finishing salts arenít meant for cooking. To get the most bang for you buck, use just a sprinkle on top of your favorite foods. Here, a saltshaker filled with six different types of salt. From top to bottom: Fleur de Sel, Alderwood Smoked, Bolivian Rose, Cyprus Black, Hawaiian Red and Australian Pink.

Salt is back. Blamed for everything from high blood pressure to hijacking the true taste of food, this essential chemical compound is once again welcome on the table. Step into any upmarket restaurant or food shop, and you'll discover a love affair with the flavor enhancer that was once on every nutritionist's hit list.

"Salt is the most important seasoning ingredient there is," says Thomas Keller, owner and chef of swanky eateries Per Se in New York City and French Laundry in Yountville, Calif. Keller offers diners nine varieties--including an ancient Jurassic salt extracted from a Montana copper mine and the...

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