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Salted: A Manifesto on the World's Most Essential Mineral, with Recipes Hardcover – October 12, 2010


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Salted: A Manifesto on the World's Most Essential Mineral, with Recipes + Salt Block Cooking: 70 Recipes for Grilling, Chilling, Searing, and Serving on Himalayan Salt Blocks
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press; 1ST edition (October 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580082629
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580082624
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 8.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,686 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bitterman explains that his love of salt began after eating a sublime steak at a relais on a trip to France. After learning about the cooking method and cut of meat, Bitterman concluded it was the "hefty nuggets of opalescent salt" that were responsible for his unforgettable meal, and he set out to meet the family of salt makers responsible. After opening an artisanal-product boutique with his wife, which includes a showcase of salts, Bitterman takes on the role of official "selmelier." In this entertaining and well-researched volume, he profiles 80 varieties of artisan salts, along with a quick reference guide to more than 150 salts for an easy-to-understand crash course on salt. The text-heavy though beautifully photographed title covers the history of salt and all things related. Recipes round out the work, and although pedestrian dishes such as hamburgers, potato chips, and sauerkraut are included, beginners may be intimidated by sophisticated selections like roasted marrowbones with sel gris; salt crust–roasted partridge with figs and chocolate-balsamic syrup; and jal jeer (an Indian lemonade). An informative and easy-to-follow "Cooking on Salt" chapter just may have the more adventurous home cooks and the DIY crowd running out for their very own Himalayan salt block. (Oct.) (c)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"If you care about salt you will be over the moon about Salted by Mark Bitterman." --6 best food books coming this fall, Christian Science Monitor --csmonitor.com/Books/2010/0916/6-best-food-books-coming-this-fall/Salted-by-Mark-Bitterman

“This illustrated volume changed the way I cook.”
—Newsday, 2010

“As the FDA considers lower salt standards for Americans, salt has never been a hotter chef's ingredient. This is part cookbook (Roasted Peaches in Bourbon Syrup with Smoked Salt), part salt tract (positing "Five Rules of Strategic Salting)," part reference tome.”
—Cooking Light, Favorite Cookbooks, 2010

“This book isn't really a cookbook, not in the recipe-driven sense of the word. It's more of a user guide, and an inspiring one at that. From the lively introduction, in which Bitterman recounts his first experience with sea salt, to the geeky chapters on the history and science of the stuff, to the slim selection of recipes broken into categories like "brining," "curing," "salt crust" and "cooking on salt blocks," this book is aimed at inspiring and educating people on the virtues of natural salt.”
—Portland Oregonian, Best of 2010, 12/21/10

“Flipping through the stellar new Salted: A Manifesto on the World's Most Essential Mineral With Recipes, we are reminded that the world is made up of so much more than fleur de sel. You could buy a bottle of $15 tequila to gift along with the book, but you get the sense author Mark Bitterman would consider that a margarita sacrilege on par with using kosher salt ("a battery-operated puppy with no hair, trying to comfort you with its soulless antics"). After all, you're handing over a book written by a man who uses sel gris, three full cups of the pricey French salt, in his preserved lemons recipe.”
—LA Weekly, Squid Ink blog, Top 10 Cookbook And Drink Gift Pairings, 12/14/10

“My pick for personal favorite of the season is Salted: A Manifesto on the World’s Most Essential Mineral, with Recipes by Mark Bitterman, which I’ve enthusiastically blurbed. My reverence for salt is bettered only by Bitterman’s who sells salt and chocolate at The Meadow. Bitterman writes well about the history of salt, the amazing array of salts available, and offers numerous recipes and techniques for using these salts.”
—Michael Ruhlman, Books for the Holidays, 12/13/10

“I am a walking salt lick and Mark Bitterman’s Salted more than satisfies. Described as a manifesto, the title contains a useful “Salt Reference Guide” of 150 salts, many of which are Asian in provenance.  . . . Salt is salty but if you want to explore their subtle differences, get Salted!”
—Andrea Nguyen, Viet World Kitchen, 2010 Cookbook Picks, 12/11/10

“You might be one of those people who think, ‘Salt? What’s the big deal?’ But turn the pages of this major treatise on the various kinds of salts from around the world (including how they’re harvested and what makes them so special), and you’ll learn what to do with them as well. Mark Bitterman is a selmelier who owns an artisanal-product boutique that specializes in salt. But you don’t need to take a trip there to learn all about salt. Salted is going to be my go-to reference when I find a new type of salt and am wondering what to do with it.”
—DavidLebovitz.com, Favorite Cookbooks of 2010, 12/6/10

“Salt is so essential to cooking that a volume on the topic might seem redundant. Not for Mark Bitterman: His book gets into geeky detail about salt types for flavor academics. However, the "Salting" section, which outlines tips and tricks for coaxing flavor out of your meal with the mineral, is very useful for home cooks.”
—Tasting Table National, 12/3/10

“In the intimidating world of artisan salts, Salted is our new road map and companion. This book is a trove of good information and we will certainly return to its pages again and again.”
—TheKitchn.com, 12/1/10

“Salt is one of those ingredients that isn’t often dealt with at length, yet is elemental to the craft of cuisine. In his book, Mark Bitterman seeks to educate the cook on the creativity, flavor, and quality that can be enhanced in a dish by using the correct salt. He approaches his subject scientifically, economically, culturally, and nutritionally. . . .After absorbing Salted the reader will understand Cassiodorus’ belief that ‘man can live without gold… but not without salt.’”
—StarChefs.com, Top 10 Cookbooks 2010, November 2010

"Everyone writes about exotic salts but no one says how to use them beyond saying sprinkling them on steak and tomatoes, says [Amy] Sherman, 'but Bitterman does.'"
—FoxNews.com, The Fox Foodie: Sixteen Sweet Cookbooks, 11/30/10

"Whether your only exposure to salt is the box of kosher in your cupboard or you’ve got a gourmet line up, Salted makes an excellent gift for the foodie that has it all."
—Guest blogger Kathy Casey, Al Dente, Amazon food blog, 11/15/10

"In Salted, Mark Bitterman (sommelier at The Meadow in Portland, Oregon) profiles 80 artisan varieties of the magical ingredient. When you’re done geeking out, the recipes — popcorn salted six ways, mango salsa with Hawaiian black lava salt — satisfy cravings."
—DailyCandy, The Best New Fall Cookbooks, 11/12/10

"His new book Salted lays it all out methodically, but the text is far from dry or academic for such an info-packed tome. Bitterman is a great writer, his conversational is clear and funny and, yes, occasionally salty. Though I'm deliberately taking my time to soak up Salted, especially the history and the particulars of each type of salt, reading this book has already caused a sea change in my kitchen."
—Al Dente, Amazon food blog, 11/2/10

"Salted is transformative; it will change the way you cook."
—The Christian Science Monitor, 6 best food books coming this fall, 9/16/10

Bitterman explains that his love of salt began after eating a sublime steak at a relais on a trip to France. After learning about the cooking method and cut of meat, Bitterman concluded it was the "hefty nuggets of opalescent salt" that were responsible for his unforgettable meal, and he set out to meet the family of salt makers responsible. After opening an artisanal-product boutique with his wife, which includes a showcase of salts, Bitterman takes on the role of official "selmelier." In this entertaining and well-researched volume, he profiles 80 varieties of artisan salts, along with a quick reference guide to more than 150 salts for an easy-to-understand crash course on salt. The text-heavy though beautifully photographed title covers the history of salt and all things related. Recipes round out the work, and although pedestrian dishes such as hamburgers, potato chips, and sauerkraut are included, beginners may be intimidated by sophisticated selections like roasted marrowbones with sel gris; salt crust–roasted partridge with figs and chocolate-balsamic syrup; and jal jeer (an Indian lemonade). An informative and easy-to-follow "Cooking on Salt" chapter just may have the more adventurous home cooks and the DIY crowd running out for their very own Himalayan salt block. (Oct.)
Publishers Weekly, 9/20/10

Salted is a remarkable work. Written with uncommon energy and style and packed with excellent information and recipes, this book should be considered a must-have for any chef worth their salt and anyone who cares about food and cooking. I love this book.”
—Michael Ruhlman, author of Ratio, The Making of a Chef, Charcuterie, and co-author of The French Laundry Cookbook
 
Salted has a transformative effect. Mark embraces not only those magical crystals but also captures you with his passion for people and exploring the diversity of food and salt. His irrepressible will to learn and share is expressed in his writing.”
—Michael Recchiuti, chocolatier, author of Chocolate Obsession
 
“In this day and age it is imperative to not only know where our food comes from but also to learn about the very thing that brings out all of the flavors we tirelessly source—salt. In Salted, Mark Bitterman takes us on an epic journey, distilling everything from salt’s early formation in the primordial ocean to thoughtful recipes and detailed tasting notes on many of the world’s finest artisanal salts. A virtual encyclopedia of salt, Salted is a wonderful resource for cooks and lovers of great food everywhere.”
—Naomi Pomeroy, chef-owner of Beast Restaurant, James Beard nominee, Food & Wine Best New Chef

More About the Author

Mark Bitterman a leading expert on culinary salt, chocolate, and cocktail bitters. He won a James Beard Award for his first book, Salted, and his latest book, Salt Block Cooking, again pioneers new concepts in cooking, leading the charge into the culinary adventure of cooking on salt blocks.

Mark is the owner of the specialty store, The Meadow (www.atthemeadow.com), with locations in Portland, OR and New York City. The shops carry the largest selection of artisan salt and cocktail bitters in the world, and perhaps the largest curated selection of chocolate bars.

In collaboration with celebrated chefs around the country and lectures at culinary schools such as the French Culinary Institute, the Institute of Culinary Education, and Le Cordon Bleu.

Mark has been recognized as a Local Food Hero by Cooking Light and a Tastemaker in Food & Wine. He has been featured in The New York Times, The Atlantic, O, GQ, Rachael Ray, Wine Spectator, GQ, Esquire, and on The Splendid Table, All Things Considered, Bizarre Foods, CBS News, ABC News, Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, the History Channel, and more.

In addition to winning the James Beard Award in 2011 for Scholarship and Reference, SALTED is also a finalist in two categories for the International Association for Culinary Professionals awards.

Customer Reviews

He apparently makes no attempt to insure his writing was teaching his reading audience.
Reader
Mark Biddermann has done a great deal of research and has written a very informative and interesting book on salt.
Doretta
I would also recommend this book for novice - pro chefs interested in using salt to enhance their cooking.
lalala

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 49 people found the following review helpful By wogan TOP 100 REVIEWER on October 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is an interesting book especially if you have had a life long love affair with salt and everyone looks at you askance that you are using something horrid. It is really not a cookbook even though it has about 50 recipes in it. Is deals more with what salt is; its discovery, the history, and harvesting salt. Artisan salt is covered, as well as tasting, advice on salt, how to shop for salt, serving and storing.

This is all you could want to know, explained in an interesting manner with several charts and a 20 page salt reference guide. There are pictures, including illustrations of the different salt crystals described and listed.

The recipes included are a few for each one of the following: those for uncooked foods, curing, grilling, brining, roasting, frying boiling, baking, salt crust, cooking on a salt block, saucing, confections and drinks.
There could have been a source guide with some addresses and recommended web sites, but this would still be ideal for cooks and those interested in the world around us, and one of the most important ingredients throughout history.
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77 of 96 people found the following review helpful By Reader on January 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I received this book as an Xmas gift - if I had looked through it at a bookstore I probably would not have purchased it. I agree with the reviews given by those giving it 3 stars, but I rate it lower for the following. While an author is entitled to his own quirks, I question the author's credibility because of his erratic writing style. Parts of the book are informative and professionally written (salt reference guide, individual salt descriptons, the section on brining,) yet other portions (parts of the guide and descriptions) make me think someone else wrote them, or the author was on medication, or he was trying to be artistic/poetic, wanted to include private jokes, or was just 'creative' with his descriptors. A few examples: there is no need to list a chemical compound as a flavor, as most consumers have no idea of flavor chemistry; while I can tolerate a "vibration of nectarine" for a flavor descriptor, I cannot give any credibility at all to the use of "snake venom," "wild horse sweat," "a young pangasinan?" "sucking a knife," "unfermented mares' milk," and "drying spray paint?" (There are more.) He also provided useless/vague use descriptors; e.g., use on "dynamited carp," as well as totally over the top descriptions of shape and color: "translucent ice-colored crystals in miniature jewel boxes?" "Pale flamingo colored?" Give us a break! IMO he insults his readers with this drivel, especially since he is not consistent - other descriptors are accurate and objective. He apparently makes no attempt to insure his writing was teaching his reading audience. IF there is a second edition, I constructively suggest he get some real editors to look through it and remove the creative writing and describe the tastes, appearances, and uses of these unique salts consistently and objectively.Read more ›
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Marisa McClellan on November 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I grew up in a household that used nothing but iodized, supermarket brand salt. Truly, for years I didn't know that it came any other way. In my early twenties, when I moved out into the world on my own, I discovered kosher salt and thought I had reached the pinnacle of flavor and sophistication. Then, right around the time I turned 30, I discovered Mark Bitterman's store, The Meadow, and the world of miraculous salts contained therein. My food was soon changed forever.

I learned that salt could have flavor beyond basic, bland saltiness and that large, crunchy crystals could make a buttered piece of toast absolutely transcendent. I even gave up my previously beloved kosher salt, swapping in a lovely, irregular everyday sea salt for my scrambled eggs and sauteed greens.

My salt education is still in its early days and thanks to Bitterman, I now have a glorious textbook with which I can enhance my studies. I am so impressed by this volume and the obvious love and care that went into its creation. In some ways, it is the author's autobiography, told through salt. In others, it is a highly useful primer on the many different varieties of salt available in the world. In all ways, it is delightful.
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Roland Dumas on December 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I got my history of salt from Kurlansky's wonderful book, Salt. I bought this one for the cultural and culinary education.

The first part of the book attempts to place salt in an anthropological and archeological perspective, but instead makes great big sloppy inferences that were unsupported. It would have read better if it just said "imagine if..." The narrative on medicine also made me cringe, as it had the same rigor as the anthropology section. Term papers that wouldn't have gotten strong grades.

Where the author comes into his own is where he describes the traditional methods for saltmaking and his rather extensive catalogue of artisan salts.

Had thumbed through the book in a store, I might not have purchased.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By RJ_Hythloday on May 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I will agree w/ the reviewer who didn't like the snake venom or wild horse sweat descriptors, but come on it's titled a manifesto. I think that totally leaves it up to the author to do how ever he wants, and I think it's well done. Great size and color pictures for a coffee table book, and great informative reading that makes you want to keep picking it up, whether to read or just flip through. Definitely a conversation starter.
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