What is a finishing salt and how does it differ from a table salt?
Finishing salt is not the same as table salt, the basic staple found in everyone’s kitchen cabinets. That salt was most likely bought at a super market, is a big brand name, and unfortunately has been processed. It contains anti-caking and bleaching additives and sadly the trace minerals normally associated with pure sea salt have all been washed away… as well as its true flavor. There is a time and place for that type of salt, but not here. Finishing salts are typically hand harvested, crafted in small batches by an artisan, contain trace minerals, and have a unique flavor and texture. However, not all finishing salts are alike. Similar to the ‘Terroir’, which gives wine its distinctive taste from its surroundings, finishing sea salts have a ‘Merroir’, which allows it to take on the distinctive flavor and characteristics of its surroundings. Essentially each finishing salt contains a bit of ‘DNA’ from where it was sourced or ‘born’. Finishing salts are just that…you finish with these salts at the end of preparing your dish. However, use in moderation as their flavor can be potent and will certainly enhance any dish with a blast of flavor!
Where do we collect the water from?
Being in Newport we are surrounded by water as Newport is one of the three towns on Aquidneck Island. As an island there are numerous public access points to the sea, however our location of choice is Brenton Reef at Brenton Point State Park. This southern most point of Newport, along the beautiful and historic Ocean Drive, is directly facing open-ocean and not surrounded or contained by landmasses in any way. As such the water here is quickly moving and clean. Rhode Island is known for its shellfish and the abundance of shellfish and eel grasses found here helps to keep the water pristine by acting as a natural filtration system. As an added precaution Brenton Reef is in an approved Shellfish Growing Area and therefore monitored by the RI Department of Environmental Management.
How do we harvest the sea water? Is it regulated?
We truly mean that we hand harvest our sea water. Using 5-gallon food safe buckets, a pair of waders, and a lot muscle our sea water is methodically hauled out of the sea, filtered to remove any sediments, and poured into a 150 gallon tank in the back of my truck, a.k.a. the ‘Salt Wagon’. However before we even grab our buckets and head out to Brenton Reef we are cognizant of the weather and tides. We never collect our sea water less than 48hrs after a heavy rain and only at or near high tide. There are no regulations for collecting sea water to produce sea salt in this manner, however we have instituted these common sense safe practices ourselves to ensure we provide you with the cleanest and purest sea salt as possible.
Is it FDA approved and safe to consume?
Where do we evaporate?
Salt has been used as an all-natural food preservative, a food ingredient and consumed since ancient times. With this long history of use the FDA, in Title 21, Section 182.1 of the Code of Federal Regulations, considers salt to be a G.R.A.S (Generally Regarded As Safe) substance. Even though the FDA considers salt to be safe for consumption, we took the added precaution of having our salt tested for pesticides and heavy metals. Eurofins Spectrum Analytical of North Kingstown, RI tested our salt and found them to be free of any pesticides and heavy metals, to include mercury and lead. Other than salt, the only other substances found in our salty sample are the trace minerals of Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium. These minerals are typically found in un-processed and pure sea salts. So when using our salts you can have the peace of mind knowing its safe…with the added bonus of consuming a few other healthy minerals!
Currently, we are evaporating at Hope and Main, a food incubator, in Warren, RI. Hope and Main is an amazing non-profit organization that will take your food related business idea and walk you through the various steps in order to make your business dream a reality.
It is at this location where we utilize their certified commerical kitchen spaces to slowly simmer the sea water to produce our sea salt. 'Simmer' is the key word as we never allow our water to boil. By simmering very slowly we allow the flakey salt crystals to form and grow on the surface where it will eventually sink and flutter to the bottom like snowflakes. It is then raked up and harvested. This is a very SLOW process where much patience and close attention is required, however the end result is our beautiful flaky, briny, and crunchy sea salt for all to enjoy!!