The edible culinary salt market is crowded with a variety of salts ranging from mainstream cooking and table salts to gourmet sea and rock salts. Even though salt remains a mainstay condiment around the world, governments and health professionals send out confusing, conflicting views and messages to the general public about whether it is beneficial or detrimental to their health and well-being. However, not all salts are the same…
Highly processed, mass produced table salts are the most commonly consumed type of salt in the UK and beyond and contain additives and anti-caking agents to keep them free flowing. Mineral-rich sea and rock salts tend to be produced on a much smaller scale than their mass-market cousins, and are best used as flavourful finishing salts that add an extra taste dimension to the foods that they season. I discovered one such salt at this year’s Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City.
The Alaska Pure Sea Salt Company was started in 2000 by husband and wife partnership, Jim and Darcy Michener. Their flake style finishing salt is produced from the pristine waters around Sitka, Southeastern Alaska. The inspiration and idea for starting the company was borne out of the random occurrence of sea salt forming on the surface of a pan of sea water that they had left on the wood stove overnight in a remote Alaska cabin where the Micheners had been staying. This simple discovery ignited a passion in the couple to strive to produce North America’s first flake style sea salt.
So, how is their sea salt produced? It’s a labour intensive process that involves the heating and evaporation of freshly harvested seawater, combined with alchemy, science and skilled artisanship. The result is the Alaska Pure Sea Salt Company’s range of 4 sea salts that take the form of beautiful, unique pyramid shaped crystals.
So how does this salt taste, and what is its flavour profile? Alaska Pure Sea Salt tastes amazing both in savoury and sweet dishes – it has a smooth, clean flavour and a light, delicate texture.
You can hear my interview with Jim Michener, co-founder of the Alaska Sea Salt Company, in full by clicking on the play button below.Follow @AnjulDutt