Thursday, October 29, 2009

Florida Sel

Sea Salt has become this year's bacon. It's in everything now, from caramels to Campbell's soup. People are crazy about it and there are several varieties from several different seas, all with different properties, colors (there's even pink salt) and minerals which alter the salt's flavor. Some people believe that sea salt is a much healthier alternative to table salt, while others just like the taste and crunchy texture of sea salt. One of the best sea salts in the world comes from France and is called "Fleur de Sel" which means "Flower of Salt." I love that name. This is because I just love anything that sounds french and involves flowers. Fleur de Sel is expensive though. I brought some back from France and I've been conserving it for the past three years trying to make it last. Then I had an idea. I should make my own. Last summer when I read the book Plenty, I was fascinated, when at the end, the authors harvested their own sea salt. All they did was gather some seawater and boil it down until nothing but salt remained. I could do that! How hadn't I thought of that before? Surely it couldn't be that difficult and living a mile from the beach, I have access to as much seawater as I want. I began to have visions of salt harvesting. I planned to call it "Florida Sel." Get it? How can you not love that name? Come on! Admit how clever that is. I had to harvest my own sea salt.

The first step to harvesting your own sea salt is to go collect some seawater. This proved very easy for me. I went to the beach with a pitcher with a tight fitting lid. All you have to do is take the pitcher, wade into the water about thigh deep and scoop up some water. Ignore the stares of your fellow beach goers who think you're a crazy person. Pretend not to hear the child nearby asking his mother what that crazy lady is doing leaving the beach with a pitcher of seawater that she just took a picture of. Instead, take a moment to admire South Florida's beautiful beaches and thank the Universe for the generous resource that is our ocean.

The best way to transport a pitcher of seawater in a car is to rest the pitcher inside of a gigantic stock pot. I had imagined all sorts of disasters that involved soaking the floor of my car, but nothing transpired. The pot caught all of the spill-over. Just make sure you don't drive like a maniac. When transporting seawater in a pitcher inside of a stockpot it is best to drive as if you are ninety. On the way you should congratulate yourself heartily at how clever you are for thinking up the name "Florida Sel" and you should begin planning on giving big, tastefully packaged jars of your own, homemade sea salt to everyone you know for the holidays.

Before I made it home a friend called me and asked what I was doing. I said that I was making my own sea salt, to which my friend replied in horror:

"DO YOU KNOW WHAT'S IN OUR SEAWATER???"

She then proceeded to list terrible things like diseases, contaminants, tar and poop. If you have a friend like this, at this stage in the salt making processes, it is best to ignore her. After all, the water looks clear. But in all seriousness, if you're going to harvest your own sea salt you probably shouldn't do as I did and naively go to a public beach in the "Yachting Capital of the World." You should always make sure that the seawater you collect is clean. I decided to flagrantly ignore this precaution because DUH! Florida Sel, people. I did it for the name.

But concerned friends aside, the next step in making your own sea salt is to strain it and boil it. Read on to see how I made my own "Florida Sel"...

1 comment:

  1. LOL... You'd think we were from another planet just for wanting to make our own salt. When I collected my water, a couple of teen boys were at the beach. As I walked back to the parking lot with my container, one of them said, "Is that saltwater?" I said, "Yeah." He replied, "Weird." Like, without even waiting until my back was turned. So far we've got "weird" and "dangerous"... hmm, can we go for a few more negatively-charged adjectives??

    I just gave you a Kreativ Blogger Award btw: http://thechickenlesskitchen.blogspot.com/2009/10/awards-season-is-still-going-strong.html

    Congrats!

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