Salt of the Earth
Truly great food stands out on its own. You don’t have to be up to date on your favorite reality TV food show to pick it out. It doesn’t require you to use your smart phone at the dinner table. It just requires you to slow down and consider the story behind your dish.
Many of our products are made quite simply with meat, salt, honey or cane sugar, smoke, and time. Each ingredient is as important as the next, and there are no shortcuts. Each ingredient has a story to tell. Most of our ingredients come from small independent Florida farms. What isn’t readily available in Florida we source elsewhere. Buying local is a big deal to us. But buying sustainable products is even bigger.
Only two of those ingredients are in all of our products: meat and salt. And Celtic Sea Salt® from the folks at Selina Naturally who are based out of Asheville, NC has become our favorite. We flew up recently to shake their hands (OK…we hugged them), and learn about what makes their product unique.
Salt is the most important ingredient in the kitchen. A second close is probably the onion. It’s near impossible to make full flavored food without them. Salt is in pretty much EVERY dish that gets dropped off at our dinner tables, and it’s the first ingredient that we should learn to master as chefs. Too much garlic can be a matter of tableside conversation, however, too much salt ruins the dinner.
Finer restaurants will typically have a Kosher salt and a finishing salt, maybe a few small quantities of flavored salts. Many chefs view salt as a sort of afterthought, or something that just heightens the flavor of everything else. We stick to the brands that we recognize and seldom ask questions. Our trip to Asheville was an eye-opener, because that’s how we thought. But now we know better.
We saw a pin-up wall of influential faces that believed in the nutritional qualities of this salt. People we like and recognize as giants in the industry. People like David Wolfe and Sandor Katz. The ones we didn’t recognize worked in the medical field and wore lab coats rather than chef jackets. We saw a wall of influential people in both the culinary and medical professions who recognized the importance of this nutrient-dense and sustainably harvested salt.
We learned that some of our salts offer 30% less sodium than table salt. We learned that it lacked chemical additives and fillers that other salts carry. There’s no anti-caking agents. It’s not bleached white or chemically refined. There are no additives to counter the chemical tastes that those processes leave behind. It is a product that is as pure as the people selling it.
We love collecting stories about the producers who help us deliver a great product. And we’re thrilled to be using Celtic Sea Salt® in our cured meats. It is truly amazing what a difference it makes in our final product. When you only have meat, salt, and time to work with, you really have to be picky about your choices.