The Culture Trip: June 2015 0
The Meadow was recently featured in The Culture Trip's list of "Lower Manhattan's 10 Best Specialty Food Stores".
Fete-A-Tete: May 2015 0
Once upon a time, on a tiny island called Manhattan, there was a little shop where gourmet treasures lined the walls…
What is this, a food fairytale? That’s what we asked ourselves when we stumbled into The Meadow, a charming gourmet sundries shop that specializes in salt, chocolate, and bitters. We also learned a new word, when we found out that owner Mark Bitterman, is a selmelier, a professional specializing in salt and its culinary uses. We love when we learn a new word.
First: the salt. With more than 120 varieties, with origins from Hawaii to the Himalayas, The Meadow is a mecca for the most important mineral in our kitchen. The windows are lined with gorgeous pink salt blocks, which the friendly staff will help explain how to use (We’re going to use ours to sear steak tableside, NBD). But it doesn’t stop there: there’s a full wall of salts in attractive jars that boast unexpected flavors: bacon salt, buttery popcorn salt, and the prettiest and pinkest pinot noir salt.
Turn around, and you’ll face a wall stacked with another vital sundry: chocolate. Expertly crafted, from all over the world, and wrapped in colorful, patterned paper, these bars are far from the banal candy bars you’ll find elsewhere.
In addition to all this, The Meadow’s got gourmet bitters, cocktail condiments, oils, and other specialty kitchen items.
Every single item in the shop would make a fantastic gift… if you can make yourself give it away.
With his store and his books, Salted and Salt Block Cooking, and an upcoming project that focuses on cocktail bitters, Mark Bitterman’s expanding our culinary horizons in a major way. This is a rabbit hole we’re totally ready to fall down.
Food and Wine: April 2015 0
Salt, as any aspiring kitchen scientist can tell you, is a flavor enhancer. It’s not the star of a dish; it’s a supporting player—unless it’s really, really, really good salt. This past Tuesday, chef Michael Stanton of The Heathman Restaurant & Bar in Portland, Oregon, and selmelier Mark Bitterman of The Meadow (a specialty salt shop with locations in New York City and Portland) teamed up to create a dinner at the James Beard House in which weird and wonderful salts were the main event. There were salt block-cured sturgeon, salt-crusted morels and even a dessert of chocolate-covered pear dipped in three different salts.
Here, five unique salts Bitterman and Stanton think everyone should try.
Taha’a Vanilla Sea Salt
Infused with Tahitian vanilla pods, this flaky salt has the texture of phyllo dough. Its delicate flavor and subtle crunch make it a great finishing salt for mild, sweet seafood like crab or scallops.
Takesumi Bamboo Carbonized Deep Sea Salt
Dark gray and crumbly, this flinty, oyster-esque salt is poured into bamboo capsules and incinerated in a kiln. The carbonized salt has an amazing superpower: It gives lean meats the illusion of fattiness.
Alaskan Alder Smoked Salt
According to Bitterman, this intensely smoky salt “tastes like the Yukon.” The large, crackling flakes are a beautiful pale pink and great for game meats as well as rich dishes like creamy risotto.
Sale di Cervia
This granular salt taken from the Adriatic has a unique sweetness. Bitterman likens it to berries.
Amabito No Moshio Japanese Sea Salt
Super-powdery and the color of a café au lait, this salt starts as a powder that’s scraped off drying seaweed. That powder is made into a brine, then boiled down until the salt crystals form. It’s packed with a ton of umami flavor.
The Smithsonian: February 2015 0
Over the millennia, salt has played a role in cultures around the world, from its use as money to its importance as a symbol of friendship and sharing. Salt is mentioned in the Bible and in folk tales, and it remains the one ingredient with the most uses in every culinary tradition.
Modern manufacturing techniques did much to change salt’s nature and to hide its potency, diversity, and intrinsic value. Now, it’s enjoying a comeback as artisanal salts such as fleur de sel, flake salt, and dozens of others continue to grow in popularity. People were amazed by what adding these crystals to a dish did to enhance the flavor and texture of food.
Learn about salt’s history and how it’s shaking things up in today’s culinary world from leading salt expert Mark Bitterman. Enjoy tastings featuring six dazzling artisan-made salts and find out how to use one of nature’s most ancient ingredients to perform miracles in the modern kitchen.
Bitterman is the award-winning author of Salted and Salt Block Cooking and owner of the specialty store, The Meadow.