A Pinch of Fresh Seasonal Herb Salt
Didn’t your mother ever tell you “You can catch more flies with sugar than salt?” Mine didn’t, but I do get the point. If I’m more diplomatic now at 62 than I was at 22, it’s because my naturally salty attitude has been repeatedly humbled by karma and circumstances. Besides; who wants to catch flies? And if salt isn’t any good for catching flies, what is it good for?
Our modern English word “salary,” comes from the Latin word “sal,” for “salt,” and references the “salarium,” or ration of salt that Roman soldiers received for the duration of their military service. Ancient cities, like Salzburg, Austria, were established near the salt mines that were so economically important. It’s not just that a daily measure of salt is essential for our bodies to function. In the ancient world there was no way to refrigerate anything so preserving food often meant drying and salting fresh fruits and vegetables.
Today, we understand that if we overdo our salt intake we can experience some deleterious effects, like high blood pressure. And with electric freezers we aren’t so dependent any more on salt to preserve our foods. But there are still plenty of reasons to employ and enjoy a pinch of salt in the kitchen. In moderation, salt is effective at drawing out flavors from foods and every summer I observe people lightly salting their slices of watermelon.
I prefer to salt my salads. In fact, the word “salad” comes from the Latin “salata,” meaning “salted,” and refers to our human custom of salting the fresh greens we’re going to eat raw. The salt acts to draw a bit of the moisture out of the greens and that contributes to the dressing’s ability to bind the disparate elements of a tossed salad into a piquant, flavorful and cohesive whole. We have added a dash of the herb salt to a pan full of Shishito peppers and lightly salting tomatoes can really “wake them up” in your mouth.
This year, seeing the large supply of fresh herbs that were coming on in our greenhouses, we chose to dry some of our crops and use them to flavor salt. Crops like oregano, thyme, and marjoram need to be repeatedly cut back or harvested so that they stay green and vigorous and don’t become woody and senescent. And we thought we’d have some fun experimenting with some fresh, leafy aromatic herbs like parsley, lovage, and cilantro, too.
For salt we turned to our friends Aaron and Martin. Besides being a professional cook, Aaron represents Marisal, a Mexican cooperative of hand harvested sea salt gatherers in Colima, Mexico. And my friend Martin, besides being a farmer, also sells a range of food products, including his favorite Sicilian sea salt. There are lots and lots of different salts, they range in color, size, texture and moisture levels and the two we chose are different from each other in terms of crystal shape and size so we played around with them for a while and we hope you will too.
Choose from two sets of two Mariquita Fresh Seasonal Herb Salts.
The first set:
“Salty Dreams” contains sea salt from Colima, Mexico infused with Lovage, Thyme, Rosemary, Basil, Parsley and Fennel.
“Mediterranean Dream” contains sea salt from Sicily, Italy, a Sea Salt infused with Oregano, Sage, Thyme, Rosemary, Basil, Parsley and Fennel.
The second set:
“Worldly Dreams” contains sea salt from Colima, Mexico infused with Oregano, Sage, Thyme, Rosemary, Basil, Parsley and Fennel.
“Salty Sicilian Love” contains sea salt from Sicily, Italy infused with Lovage, Thyme, Rosemary, Basil, Parsley and Fennel.
You can find our herbal sea salt selections on the farm shop pages. The variety of Mariquita blended herbs adds a nice touch to the salt and will enhance a wide variety of foods. Use as a seasoning for salads, soups, roasts and fish. We even love it on our popcorn!
Your Friends at Mariquita Farm
—© 2021 Essay by Andy Griffin. Photos by Starr Linden
As the weather is getting warmer, the sun is rising earlier and the harvesting begins with the sunrise, we will be closing our East Bay/Peninsula shop by 6 PM on the Wednesday evenings before the Friday delivery. We close our San Francisco & Mystery Thursday shops on Wednesday mornings by 8 AM and our Santa Cruz/Los Gatos shop by 8 AM, on Monday mornings. Please get your orders in early so you don’t miss out on the harvest! Thank you all again for being such a part of our bountiful farm!
If you haven’t ordered a Mystery Box recently, now is a great time to get in on spring deliciousness! LadybugBuyingClub