To recap the story, Geordie and I had just finished a few beers and decided that exporting sea salt and selling it directly to consumers would be fun and exciting. Read the first part of the story here.
Step one: convince our wives that this is a good idea. Hmm… Still have not quite completed step one but working on it.
Step two: find out where this great salt comes from. Simple enough, we asked the fruit stand owners where the salt came from. They told us it came from Colima, a state in Southern Mexico. Google salt and Colima and there is no shortage of information about the Laguna de Cuyutlán. Actually getting in touch with someone that will sell you salt? Much harder.
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Step three: get salt across the border. Now who could have foreseen that shipping bags of a white rock substance we call “sea salt” across the border into the U.S. might be difficult. Well, when you put it that way, it really looks like a bad idea. Our salt was stuck at the border for a month. This is one of the reasons we have limited quantities.
Step four: learn everything we could about salt.
Step four: go to Colima, the Laguna de Cuyutlán
We made a trip to Colima to meet the artisans that actually harvest this amazing product.
Driving out onto the huge desolate lagoon we were impressed with how big it is.
Imagine a desert in the middle of the wild Mexican coast.
There was an abundance of wildlife in the marshy areas, a bird watcher’s paradise. We observed how salt is created using filtered water, sun, wind, and manual labor. It’s a beautiful process.
We are a young start-up company with big dreams to change the world a pinch at a time. We believe that the artisanal organic process of harvesting sea salt is one that we should preserve.
If you have not seen this yet, please read, it will help you understand us better. We borrowed it from Mark and have adopted it as our own. It guides every decision we make.
- Salt is the single most important ingredient in cooking and the single most powerful tool for improving the flavor of food.
- No two salts are the same, any more than two varieties of mushrooms are the same.
- Some things do not belong in our food supply. Industrial salts like cheap sea salt, kosher salt, and table salt are products that few people want in their kitchens if they understand and face up to how they are made.
- There is no equating industrial salt with artisan salt. Artisan salts are better than industrial salts. Think of industrial salt as you would think of open-heart surgery: use it only if your life depends on it.
- Buying good salt can change the world by supporting traditional economies and preserve ecologically and culturally valuable resources. Buying standardized salt issuing from a handful of industrial suppliers supports one part of a globalized chemical industry.
- Salt is not bad for you. On the contrary, it is very good for you. It is right and proper to use as much salt as you want as long as you are the one salting your food.
From Mark Bitterman’s book, “Salted” pages 10-11.
We thank you for sharing this journey with us. Pinch it, Grind it.
Geordie and John