Flakey crystals with complex oak aromas and a clear flavor, this salt is wonderful on hearty soups, pastas, cheeses, salads, and vanilla bean ice cream. From the pure ocean currents of the Welsh coast, Halen Môn finishing salt has a large and immensely complex gemstone structure, making for extraordinary texture in the mouth and exceptional deftness, coaxing every nuance from virtually any dish it finds. When an ancient landmark Welsh Oak tree fell on the premises of the company that makes the salt, they turned the upsetting moment around and celebrated with this oak-smoked variation of their excellent salt.
The making of Halen Môn marries centuries-old craft with high technology. Pure seawater from Wales’s Menai Straits passes through two filters, a mussel bed (nature’s finest filter), and a sandbank before being charcoal-filtered. The filtered seawater is gently heated in a vacuum which encourages it to almost boil at a low temperature. As the water releases steam it is concentrated into very salty brine. The steam that is produced is used, in its turn, to heat the brine. When the concentration of salt in the water is high enough it is released into shallow crystallization tanks.
In the quiet of the night delicate crystals begin to form, first on the surface then sinking as they grow. In the morning the salt is harvested by gently scooping out the flakes. They are then rinsed in brine until they shine with snowy brilliance. Finally, the salt is carefully dried. Now, ten days after being drawn from the sea, the salt is ready.
Halen Môn’s trapezoidal flakes give off a fiery amber glow, and intense notes of Celtic ocean-side bonfire dissolve into a sublimated yet somehow full-bodied flavor that works wonders on the most sublime winged creatures such as pigeon or guinea fowl, or sea creatures such as rockfish, abalone, and mussels. The flake also performs miracles on ice cream and creme brulée, and provides a curious twist to the increasingly popular use of sel gris on chocolates, caramels, and marzipans.
Halen Môn Gold is a Soil Association Certified Product finishing salt, and was awarded the silver medal for the 2006 NASFT award for Outstanding Savoury Condiment, Pasta Sauce, Salsa, Cooking Enhancer or Spice.