Hartman Salt: 
May 2011

by Cesar Delgadillo
- Food Immersion - Portland: From Hyper-Local to Mainstream
For a clear example of America’s evolving food culture, look no further than The Meadow. You’ll find a wide selection within its four narrow categories: salt, chocolate, specialty liquor and flowers. The Meadow stocks over 100 varieties of salt, 400 types of chocolate and a staggering array of bitters, an herbal essence that provides balance in great cocktails, originating in oldie times and thankfully experiencing a renaissance in forward-leaning cocktail bars today. The Meadow is owned by salt aficionado Mark Bitterman, author of Salted: a Manifesto on the World’s Most Essential Mineral, assuring us that we were on the right track for delving into the World of Salt.

The Meadow and their selmeliers (salt sommeliers), aptly guide salt-curious consumers through a maze of well-curated salts for their nuanced flavors and varied applications. The Meadow encourages consumers interested in savoring experiences beyond iodized table salt, to sample unusual and unexpected flavors when it comes to the most basic and foundational flavoring agent. Think ethereal Shinkai Deep Sea for elevating seared scallops on a Wednesday evening or woodsy-scented Red Alder Smoked salt for enhancing buttery roasted almonds. Beyond The Meadow, salt is currently experiencing a renaissance in the US. Yet, American food tradition dictates that salt is part of industrial processed food, whereas modern cuisine celebrates less processed salts for their ability to execute culinary alchemy, in turn cuing consumers that the product is less processed and of higher quality. As in other food cultures where distinctive salts are deeply rooted in culinary tradition, salt and its transformative powers are progressing into a mature food category here in American food culture..


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