Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Handcrafted Welsh Sea Salt: Seasoned with Indian Spices

I recently met with Justin Jones and his wife Taima Hervas who import handcrafted Halen Mon sea salts through their company Ready4 Best of Britain based on Key Biscayne. They met the Lea-Wilson family who makes the salts at a fancy food show in San Francisco last year and agreed to distrubute the salts in the U.S. Halen Mon means "salt of Anglesey" in Welsh and was first made when Alson Lea-Wilson boiled a pan of seawater in her farmhouse kitchen and discovered the delicate salt crystals as the water boiled down. Today the salt is made from the pure charcoal filtered water of the Menai Strait off the Isle of Anglesey pumped to sheds by pipe where the salts water is heated in a vacuum so it boils at a low temperature and turns into salty brine that is crystallized in  shallow tanks.  The flakes are harvested by gently scooping them up by hand and rinsing them in the brine until they shine. Besides the fine and coarse pure sea salt, there are seasoned salts, best used as finishing salts sprinkled over dishes. There's salt with celery seeds that was served at last years royal wedding lunch with hard cooked quail eggs and is brilliant in soups and a salad of chopped apple, celery and seedless grapes in a sour cream, yogurt and Dijon mustard dressing (see picture above). Salt is slowly smoked over Welsh oak and is good with scrambled eggs, raw oysters and in caramel desserts and salt mixed with ground Tahitian vanilla bean, great with pan seared scallops and other seafood and in anything chocolate. My favorite flavor is the salt mixed with organic Fair Trade spices including peppercorns, coriander, turmeric, cumin, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, cayenne and cloves. Sprinkle over curries, rice, roasted meats or potatoes (or both!), soups, stews and salads. I add the spiced salt to my flourless chocolate cake and sea salt toffee dipped in bittersweet chocolate and sprinkled with more spiced sea salt.  To find out more about these salts go to:

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