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– So what restaurants,
right now, carry your salt?
– We sell to 11 Madison Park.
We sell to Nomad. We
sell to Gramercy Tavern.
We sell to Untitled. We sell to The Dutch.
We’ll sell probably about 50
pounds a week to restaurants
and food makers and then
the balance of it goes
into the retail packaging.
– We are gonna head out
into the water to find out
how ocean water gets turned
into the finest sea salt
that some of the best restaurants
and chefs use all over the country.
(surf music)
– I’d been making salt first as a hobby.
Almost for about 30 years now.
– Wow.
– As a business, we started this in 2010.
The first jar of salt we sold
was in the summer of 2011.
– Wow, and I’ve had it.
It’s so delicious like I use
it to finish things mostly
’cause I just want to taste it.
– Well, I always liked food.
I always liked eating. I
always liked eating well.
It’s important and living in Manhattan,
it’s certainly easy to do that.
Part of what drew me to making salt
was the naturalness of it,
the traditional methods.
And we started doing that
when we were a lot smaller
and we continue to do that, in large part
because I don’t want
to despoil what I have.
We still get the water bucket by bucket.
During the summertime we’re getting
about 2,000 gallons of water every week.
– By hand.
– Everything by hand.
– Does it take longer to do it solar.
– Yeah, it’s long.
– ‘Cause it’s naturally dehydrated.
– It’s unpredictable.
It’s – we think it’s certainly
the best way to do it.
It’s also the hardest way.
We’re going to the ocean.
We’re gonna get today about 100 gallons
of water in this run.
Generally, we make two
or three runs a day.
– Wow, a hundred gallons.
(laughs)
(upbeat guitar music )
How far in do we have
to go – for collecting?
‘Cause this water’s looking pretty rough.
– We’re gonna go, so up to probably
a little bit above our knees.
– Okay, right where
the waves are breaking.
– Exactly. I can take two at a time.
I find I’m more balanced.
– If I can carry two
buckets which, I’m thinking,
my first time in should I go
with the two or try out one?
– Go with two, but —
– ‘Cause I don’t wanna
leave one out there.
– No, I don’t want you to do that either.
Go with two. Don’t fill
them up all the way.
– Got it.
– Alright, so right now
if we go on the backside of this wave,
we’ll be very gentle.
That was good.
(laughs)
(upbeat music)
Wait, wait, wait.
We’ve collected about a
hundred gallons of seawater.
– It felt like it.
– A little more than about
850 pounds worth of seawater.
We’ll typically do this
two or three times a day.
We’re gonna only do it one today.
– How – thank God- how much salt–
– We’re a little slower today.
(laughs)
– How much salt, finished
salt, would 100 gallons make?
– We won’t get 100% yield,
a lot of that’s intentional.
– Right.
– So this 100 gallons will give us
probably about 15 pounds of salt.
– I’m excited to see the next steps.
♪ This one here is for all of the kids ♪
♪ School’s out ♪
♪ So you should know what time it is ♪
♪ It’s the summertime ♪
– The water that we
picked up from the ocean,
there’s sand in it.
There’s other floating
and swimming things in it.
We want to get rid of
those, so as we get it out
we’re going to put it through a filter.
Where it’s going to slowly leach
into our – into these salt urns
and there are both sediment
as well as to go through
another filtering step.
We won’t plant new crops from the end
of November until the middle of January.
It’s not cold enough and it’s still damp.
Once we get in to the middle of January,
the humidity goes way, way down
and all of a sudden things
evaporate a lot better.
– Right, so you’re not
bringing in as much water?
– Exactly.
We’ll go and we’ll start
replenishing our supplies,
but instead of going three times a day.
We’ll go three times a week.
How are you with siphoning?
– We’re about to find out.
(laughs)
I don’t know
– Right now, we’re gonna
put this through…
this is a 50 micron siph,
thickness of a fine hair,
the diameter of a hair.
– Wow.
(gurgling)
– Perfect.
– I’m siphoning.
– It’s cloudy because here we’re having
a fair amount of algae and plankton.
We’re trying not to
eliminate all the algae.
We’re trying to moderate it that’s where
a lot of the flavor comes from.
– So your salinity doesn’t really change?
It’s just the minerality,
all the impurities.
– Exactly.
– That’s what’s kind of varying.
– If we were harvesting salt
and drying it on a lava flow,
it would have a different flavor
as well as a different color because
of the minerals in that lava
and that’s a lot of carbon.
And that’s where, say Hawaiian black salt,
originally came from.
If it was in contact with
a lot of iron deposits,
it would have a red color and that’s
where Himalayan pink salt comes from.
– This is so interesting, yeah.
– And that flavor of
the ocean is obviously
the 70-some-odd salt compounds
together with the algaes.
– Well, in the summer evaporation happens
in a few weeks – three weeks?
– Yeah.
– And in the colder months
that slows down to what?
– To about three months.
– Three months.
So how do you know when it’s done?
How do you know which
one of these to pick?
– By look.
– By look.
– From here, I can see crystals
on this one.
I can see crystals over
here and if I open this up
We’ll see them a lot clearer.
And the goal is to just glide them across.
This first batch was planted in March.
– So this took two months to crystallize
to where you can harvest it?
– Right, after two months in the Spring,
we got enough crystals to
make it worth our while
to go kneel down and…
– Right.
(upbeat music)
– So if you could just try to dump it
right in the middle there.
– Oh my gosh.
– And this is really where
it’s more art than science.
The formula is, I don’t
know, if I’m gonna have
two weeks of pure sunshine or not.
– Right.
But this all ties back in to your
very by hand natural craft.
– Exactly.
Let’s start–
– Let’s start with the classic.
– This is good enough to eat.
– I’m gonna taste it on its own.
Oh my gosh.
It’s just like, this clean, pure…
salt.
And it’s like flaky and the
crystallization is like so nice.
You know, like there
is a difference between
finishing flaky salts and
this is like a good balance.
Of like, it’s not too large of a flake.
It’s not to flat and breaking.
It’s just like right
where you want it to be
to use as a finishing salt, so…
– Some of the chefs who use
our salt, compare its taste —
They say it tastes like the fleur de sel
with entirely different texture.
– Completely.
Right, I totally agree with that.
And it’s just clean, it’s very clean.
And maybe that’s because I’ve
been out in the sun all day
and in the water, and I’m seeing this
just totally natural pure process
and it’s that much more rewarding
to taste the final result.
It’s really satisfying.
– Thank you.
– Oh my gosh.
– It just brings out the
flavors and makes it pop.
– And that’s its job,
enhancing amazing food.
Salt is just, I’ve always
been a lover of salt,
like I wanna taste it on my food,
but through cooking, you know,
it’s the foundation of making good food.
You have to use salt
from the beginning stage,
the middle stage, finishing stage.
You know, it’s all bringing a
different thing to the table
and it’s just so important.
It’s the foundation of cooking,
so I’m so glad that I
got to see this process
and it’s just so good.
I hope you liked this episode.
If you wanna see something
from our sister brand,
“The Verge.” Click here.
– [Narrator] A whole lot
of microbes that scientists
and cheese makers are still trying
to catalog and understand.
Take this cheddar, for instance.
It’s called Stockinghall Cheddar
and it’s made by Murray’s
Cheese in New York City.