I don’t think I’d do half the culinary experiments I do if B wasn’t all together so damn supportive. And by supportive, I mean that he has the same ridiculous ideas I do, but knows that he can convince me to do them so he doesn’t have to. Which would be how we found ourselves on the shores of Puget Sound on the Olympic Peninsula with two growlers full of salt water.
We had been watching Gourmet’s Diary of a Foodie, a fantastic show, which you can watch online at the Gourmet website. It was all about sea salt and Sichuan peppercorns. Holy food porn up my alley, Batman, ya know? I was drooling. Part of it was a story on a guy who made his own salt from ocean water at his pub in England. They showed him down at the water, with a bucket full of water, walked you through the process of making it. I looked across the couch to B. We had to be on the peninsula the next day anyways…Wheels turning, ideas forming…Sure enough, the growlers were packed for the next morning.
How does it taste? Well, I’ll be honest, it tastes like salt. It is not crystals of salt, like what they sell in stores as “sea salt,” its more like little flakes. I would say that it is better than your average kosher salt, but not quite as good as the branded “sea salt” you can buy. However, given that it was free, required almost no work at all and will impress all your friends, I would reccomend this method highly.
How to Make Salt from Sea Water
Get your salt water: we used one gallon (two growlers) and came up with one spice canister full of salt.
Strain the saltwater–we used three layers of cheesecloth to make sure that nothing got through, into a large pot. Bring it to a boil and just let it boil away, evaporating all the water. Towards the end, we found that it was getting very splattery and messy, so we took it off the stove and spread the salt on a silpat and left it in the sun for a day. Technically, you can just let it boil til all the water is gone, but, if like us, you have a small pot and it is getting salt everywhere, the sun drying method works well for the last bit–it was already nearly evaporated, like a thick paste texture.