We tend to think of salt as something cheap — the most basic of seasonings. And that’s because it is: Table salt is one of the least expensive things at the supermarket, and is one of the most commonly-used ingredients on earth. But not all salts are created equal; in fact, there’s one salt that’s more expensive than any other, and it’s really intense.
The most expensive salt in the world is called Amethyst Bamboo 9x, and it’s prized in Korea. It starts with coarse Korean gray sea salt, which is sealed inside a cylinder of aged bamboo using ceramic-grade clay. The cylinder is then roasted inside a pine wood-fired furnace at temperatures approaching 1,500 degrees F, near the melting point of salt. This process is repeated seven more times, and then it’s roasted again at an even hotter temperature, so the salt melts into what looks like magma. It’s then poured and allowed to harden into crystals.
The resulting salt is powerful (to say the least), with an aromatic, smoky, sulfuric, and slightly sweet flavor; it needs to be eaten sparingly, on food, because on its own it’s way too intense. It’s in the category of “bamboo salt” (any salt that’s been roasted inside bamboo), and its purported health benefits in Taoist medicine include the inhibition of cancer cells and the stimulation of chi.
If you want to sample this salt for yourself, you can order it from luxury salt boutique The Meadow. But don’t forget that it is the most expensive salt on earth: A 2.3 ounce jar will set you back $62.00, and a one-pound bag costs $272.