Limited edition - collector's item!
Super limited - salt pans are closed indefinitely due to flooding, and we happen to have snagged some of this fantastic Italian sea salt just in time.
Dolce di Cervia is a coarse Italian sea salt, ground to a jumble of crystals and shards of all sizes. It has a faint harshness on the tongue that's accompanied by mild, mineral-sweet undertones. This salt's color hints at the warmth to come. Amber light flickers through the crystals of this sweet salt as if forever illuminated by the flames of a cozy hearth fire. But the salt's flavors come through with another sort of warmth altogether - more of a midsummer rain felt through a linen shirt than a cup of hot cocoa between chilled palms. Italians call salt from the region of Cervia sale dolce, or sweet salt. The salt makers credit this unique fruity-sweet flavor to lower than normal magnesium and potassium levels - even though the sweetness is often a distinctive characteristic of some of the uber-magnesium-rich salts of Japan (coming back to the shop this September 2023!), and magnesium potassium, iodine, zinc, copper, manganese, and iron are all present in the salt. Chalk it up to nature's boundless appetite for mystery.
Dolce di Cervia is coarse, with moderate moisture lending suppleness to its crunch. Apart from its faintly amber color, its astonishing sweetness, its bubbly Champagne-like body, and crisp, honeysuckle-sweet flavor, it's tempting to compare it in stature to the French sel gris. Even though it is not gray, not French, not briny, and made from the Adriatic rather than the Atlantic, it's a true classic among sel gris.
The Cervia Salt Pan is the smallest and northernmost in Italy. It covers 827 hectares in a natural park and is a natural breeding and nesting reserve for many animal and plant species. It is hand-harvested daily in very limited quantities-which is fine, because this salt should only be used judiciously as a finishing salt. Yet the jar of dolce di cervia in my kitchen looks battered and grubby from near-constant handling.
How do I use it? Gently worked into the Parmesan breading of a chicken cutlet or sprinkled on wild mushroom bruschetta, its sweetness satisfying the latest desires for earthy flavors with a spark of contrast. The crystals are hard, and sometimes require a mortar and pestle to break down to a usable size for finishing (we don't recommend using this salt with a salt grinder). Also good as an all-purpose cooking salt for dissolving in stews and pasta water. Best used as a finishing salt on meat or fish.
Of note: Dolce di Cervia should not be confused with the more widely available Riserva CAmillone salt by Salina di Cervia that is sold in a cloth bag, which, while good, has a markedly different flavor and crystal structure.
Ingredients: Sea salt
Small Jar: 2.2oz / 62g
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We are happy to ship every package with recyclable or compostable materials. We also include a complimentary sweet bite in each order :-)
Adds a nice flavor. Used as a topping