Black Lava Salt

This year, lava salt is the new black.

What Is It?

Black lava salt is harvested from the coasts of Hawaii and Cyprus. The salt is infused with activated charcoal from lava found in those regions, which gives the salt its deep obsidian hue. Black lava salt's beauty isn’t just skin deep, either; the charcoal acts as a powerful detoxifier that cleanses the body of impurities, provides essential minerals and improves digestion. If “lava” doesn’t seem like a flavor you’d want to explore, think again. The pyramid-shaped crystals add a subtle earthiness to dishes, with hints of smoke you’d normally associate with charcoal grilling.

What Do I Do With It?

In short, everything: It’s just salt with some interesting flavor notes, after all. Most often used as a finishing salt, try it sprinkled over meaty fish like halibut or tuna to add depth without overpowering the dish. Try a little over crisp roasted potatoes, roasted root vegetables or Brussels sprouts, or toss a little over egg-based dishes and you won’t be disappointed. The same goes for heartier salads and soups which beg for a little smoky depth, especially in colder months. Breaking down the crystals also gives them a flexibility they don’t have as a decorative salt. Look for black lava salt at local health food stores and specialty grocery stores.

Shannon Weber is the creator, author and photographer behind the award-winning blogaperiodictableblog.com, and her work has appeared on websites such as Bon Appétit, Serious Eats and America’s Test Kitchen.

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