I tried to get a close up so you can see the texture of the salt. Even though the salt flakes are larger than traditional table salt, the taste isn't as strong. I was recently reading a cooking article that said most recipes you find are created using more mild salts such as this, and one cup of fine table salt can weigh almost twice as much as one cup of Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt, meaning it would be twice as salty. You can read more on that over at Smitten Kitchen.
My other favorite is gray salt. I always get my gray salt from Napa Style. I like the one pound tin, it lasts quite a long time and is definitely worth the $20. My favorite uses for this kind of salt are to sprinkle it on veggies, salad, or grilled chicken. It's also the best for finishing a meal with a light sprinkling of this coarse salt.
As Michael Chiarello said "If you change just one thing about your cooking, make it the salt.". Well said.
Next up is pepper, not just any pepper, the freshly ground pepper is always the best. I don't have much to say about this, but the fresh stuff does have a bit more flavor and punch. That's my stainless pepper mill in the picture below.
And last, but not least, olive oil. Oh sweet olive oil. When I cook or have to add olive oil to a recipe I usually go for whatever Trader Joe's olive oil I have on hand. But, if I'm making salad dressing or finishing a meal with a drizzle of olive oil then I love using Petrou Foods Unfiltered Olive Oil. The taste is so smooth and it's absolutely perfect when preparing uncooked food. I buy it local at the farmers market in Laguna Beach but you may be able to buy it on their website if interested.
That pretty much sums up my top 3 favorite cooking ingredients. I have a few favorite recipes I'll be putting up here soon like the most amazing Poppyseed Salad with Strawberries, seriously the best salad I've ever had!!