Salt of the Earth

With today being Easter Sunday, I’ve finally had the time (thanks to the Bank holidays) to think about updating the blog.  As always, I’m a huge admirer of those that manage to write so frequently and with such enthusiasm while maintaining a full time day job.

At the end of March, I visited the Food Expo in Birmingham. I do love trade shows: it’s an opportunity to see what’s coming on the market, get a feel for new and emerging trends, and of course, network.

One of my finds (more to follow) was The Sea Spice Company.  Set up by authors and food writers Fiona Houston and Xa Milne, the title of this post is something of a misnomer, because although gourmet salts are still popular, and yet another regional salt has just launched from the Isle of Lewis, this range concentrates on the still niche area of seaweeds, and highlights different seaweeds for different uses.

The Sea-Spice Company produces a range of 5 seaweed seasonings, each one rich in Umami while having a lower salt content (despite the taste) of sea salt itself.

The 5 mixes are:

Celtic Kombu
A natural flavour enhancer with a smooth taste, this is a native version of the deep bronze seaweed that gives umami- the fifth taste. It lifts any dish, and can be used as a stock.

Pepper Dulse
The Truffle of the Sea, this ultimate condiment has an intense and complex taste with garlic and pepper notes. A small pinch gives a big punch.

Shony Flakes
A fusion of colours and tastes, from the sweet to the meaty. A striking, eat-me blend of russet, bronze and emerald green seaweeds.

Sea Lettuce
A vibrant garnish, these emerald shavings add a dash of intense beauty and salty freshness. Season to taste at the end of cooking. Think parsley substitute.

A robust purple-red sea spice with hints of smoked bacon. A powerful flavour, this iron-rich seasoning can hold its own with meat: think anchovy equivalent.

They just launched at the show, and have yet to really develop their packaging and retail concept, but I definitely think it’s a case of watch this space.

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