Jq Dickinson J.Q. Dickinson Smoked Sea Salt
Smoked sea salt from Appalachia, where this once submerged mineral is, alas, revived in the sun's drying glare. Quick Facts Origin: Virginia, United States Unit Size: 1 oz. The Flavor Experience If one word could be used to sum up why it’s better for you – and why it’s tastier – it would be this: Purity. Because the Iapetus Ocean is totally devoid of contamination, and because the make process involves nothing but the sun’s heat and human hands, Dickinson Salt is clean and mineral-rich. It’s as though you were able to harvest sea salt from the Paleozoic era. Taste a few crystals off your finger. It’s crunchy and pleasant, but surprisingly not overly salty. It tempts you to taste it again, whereas most salt would have you reaching for a glass of water. (note: please don’t just sit at your desk and snack on it.) The Story The origin of this salt dates back approximately 400 million years, when the Iapetus Ocean was enveloped by colliding landmasses and the Appalachian Mountains were formed. The Iapetus has remained untouched, unseen and unilluminated by the sun, preserving what is now the most pristine saltwater reserve in the world. The only hint to its existence was a handful of springs burbling salt water, first identified by Native Americans who witnessed wildlife licking nearby rocks. Settlers began boiling this “brine” in the early 19th Century, and William Dickinson officially started his business in 1817. Using a hollowed out tree trunk for piping, he pumped water from the Iapetus Ocean hundreds of feet below the ground. By the 1850s, there were hundreds of salt producers along the Kanawha River, making it the largest salt producing region in the United States. In 1851, it was named Best Salt in the World at the World Fair in London. The principal customers for the salt were the meat packers in Cincinnati. But as the meat industry moved north to Chicago, salt produced in the Great Lakes replaced Kanawha salt. Production of West Virginia salt slowly waned until 1945, when the Dickinson family became the last farm to close up shop. A few years ago, 7th generation sister and brother, Nancy and Lewis, decided to revive the family tradition. Inspired by the farm-to-table movement, and the need for transparency in the food chain, they believed today’s customer would respond favorably to their history and product. Using centuries-old maps hoarded in the attic, they drilled a well in the exact spot where their great-great-great-great-grandfather first drilled his. They struck their target on the first try. The production is simple, bordering on quaint. Salt water is pumped by hand and held for a week to clarify. It is then moved into a sun house where the water content is solar-evaporated, concentrating the salinity. Using a wooden rake, the resulting salt crystals are harvested onto cloth to dry, before being hand-scooped into the final retail jar. Because the process is as non-interventional as it gets, relying strictly on Appalachian mountain air and the sun’s heat, the production time can take anywhere from four to thirteen weeks. Usage Tips Add to steak and vegetables for a hint of smoke when it’s too cold to light up the grill, or try sprinkled over roasted potatoes. More Recipes & Info on the Blog !