What is a culinary finishing salt? Sprinkle Sea Love on your meal and take a bite. As you eat, food and salt combine - first a flash of salt... then the food... a flicker of salt and now fuller food flavors, and then a faint spark of salt catches at the richest and most complex flavors of the food. With finishing salt, the relationship ofsalt and food evolves with every bite. The rewards are increased intensity of flavor, greater flavor complexity, exciting new textures and even aromas, and a heightened awareness of the very process of tasting food. Finishing salts promise the opportunity for a new, more intimate relationship with food. (The Meadow)
What’s the difference between sea salt and other salts? Table salt is mined from underground salt deposits and undergoes heavy processing, which strips the salt of its natural minerals. It is ground down into fine grains, bleached and treated with anticaking agents to prevent clumping.
Our sea salt is produced sustainably through solar evaporation with very little processing. Solar evaporation leaves the trace minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, and other nutrients, in the salt (where they belong!) adding to the flavor, color and coarseness of the salt. More detailed info on trace minerals here and here.
How do you harvest the salt? We start by collecting ocean water during a high tide in Wrightsville Beach, NC. The water is then taken to our farm and filtered through 4-ply cheesecloth, removing any sand or sediment. The filtered water is then transferred into large bins within a greenhouse, which we call our salthouse. This salthouse can be 120 degrees during optimal seasons (dry, sunny). As the water slowly evaporates (generally 3-7 weeks), it leaves salt behind in pure crystal form, first clear, then opaque, finally white. When a bit of water remains, the salt is harvested from the bins and hung to dry more fully within cheesecloth balls. Once the salt has dried completely it is ready to be mixed with herbs, bottled and ready to use in your kitchen.
Why is solar evaporation better? There are three main ways to make sea salt: baking, boiling, and evaporating. Baking or boiling salt water would produce salt more quickly, but these methods loose the crystal quality and a lot of the minerals. Solar evaporation is a natural process, which uses only the suns energy to remove the water and leave behind pure, flakey, salt crystals.
Is it FDA approved or legally regulated? Sea salt is a mineral and as such is a GRAS substance - Generally Recognized as Safe. According to FDA’s Section 182 of Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations, sea salt, when used for the purposes indicated and in accordance with current good manufacturing practice, are GRAS. Substances on this list are generally recognized among experts as having been adequately shown through scientific procedures or through experience based on common use in food to be safe under the conditions of their intended use.
While we recognize that salt is considered GRAS, we at Sea Love do follow strict packaging, inspection and registration standards from the FDA and USDA. In addition, we are also are highly specific about the location of our water source (more on that below).
We fully stand behind the quality of our salt and take great measures to ensure its purity and maintain transparency as a company.
Where does it come from? Is it clean? Our salt water is collected directly from Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. North Carolina beaches are strictly monitored by Division of Marine Fisheries, which tests the water quality year round in 240 sites, including our exact pull site. If you would like more information or would like to check out the results of these water tests, please click here.
Where can I purchase Sea Love Sea Salt? Sea Love Sea Salts can be ordered directly from our website or bought in a selection of stores and markets throughout North Carolina, South Carolina and New York. For list of these stores please click here. Our salt is also available in bulk orders for chefs and restaurants, as well as wedding favors.