DEF: Sea Salt - salt produced by the evaporation of seawater.
Hello VIVE friends...
Even the best chefs need a little seasoning to spice up their cooking - and as with any product we choose to use in the VIVE kitchen, our seasoning of choice must be of the highest possible quality. And so we welcome Tasman Sea Salt to the VIVE fold.
I chatted this week to Alice Laing, one half of the Tasman Sea Salt family. Together with partner Chris Manson, they have carved a nice little credible niche for themselves in the world of sea salt. Needless to say, they haven't looked back!
As well as being the salt of choice at VIVE, we are working to collaborate with this passionate pair on a little Tasmanian treat, showcasing the incredible artisanal produce that comes from this abundant little isle down south.
TASMAN SEA SALT - PURE + SIMPLE
We love a good food story here at VIVE - and this little success story from Tassie is no exception!
Salt would have to be one of the most commonly used (and at times, misused!) cooking companions. There are so many variables when it comes to good salt and I thoroughly enjoyed my recent chat with this entrepreneurial salt pair!
Tasman Sea Salt is the business of Chris Manson and Alice Laing. Both genuine lovers of good food, it was during a visit to Chris' family in Tasmania in 2012 from their home in London that they had their salt epiphany. In the family kitchen, Chris and Alice couldn't help but notice that his parents were using Maldon Salt imported from the UK. Given that Tasmania is surrounded by some of the most pristine waters in the world, they couldn't understand why no one was making salt in Tasmania. The pair delved further into this salt conundrum, and after rigorous research decided to pack their bags and move to Chris's home state of Tassie to produce gourmet salt flakes.
And so Tasman Sea Salt was born.
I fired a few quick Q&As to Alice to garner all I could from her about what makes a really good salt. And it seems, there are a lot of factors at play!
Why salt? And why Tasmania?
Chris was born and bred in Tasmania so that's where the initial connection came from. And it was during a visit to his parents that we noticed a gap in the salt market - people were buying imported salt, and no one was producing salt in Tasmania. Given that Tassie is an incredibly clean and green state entirely surrounded by pristine waters, it seemed like something that could be achieved. With a little research, we were on our way!
What was the first step in creating Tasman Sea Salt?
One of the first things we did was test the Tasmanian seawater to find out exactly what flavor and texture of salt was possible.
The water on the east coast of Tasmania is incredibly clean, pure and rich in vital minerals and nutrients. This exemplary water purity means we don't need to do anything to our salt during the production process. There is no cleaning or rinsing required - as happens with many sea salts - and the end result is a beautifully pure and unrefined product. Our salt offers a real depth of flavour and a soft, well rounded taste of the sea.
As well as the water purity, the dry conditions on the east coast of Tasmania make for perfect salt making. As a result, our saltworks are able to use sustainable energy throughout the production process. We simply take naturally occurring evaporation rates and amplify them through our technology – using wind, solar and thermal energy from the sea to power our salt harvesting process. This technology is unique to salt making and is only possible because of the weather conditions in our locale.
Can you please dispel a myth for me - is salt good for you? Or more importantly, is sea salt good for you?
Unrefined sea salt (such as Tasman Sea Salt) contains trace minerals and nutrients found in sea water that are beneficial for a healthy diet. The waters around Tasmania also provide a salt that is naturally lower in sodium (about 20% less than most other gourmet salts on the market) and yet high in potassium - which is one mineral that we tend not to get enough of in our diet. While we all need to be careful of eating anything in excess, Tasman Sea Salt is definitely one of the healthiest salts on the market.
There is a lot of talk today about sustainability and producing products with a strong respect for the environment. Do you have a particular ethos for driving your business? How do you see your business evolving?
Tasmania has a wonderful reputation for being a clean and green island, so when setting up our business it was vital to support this philosophy. The cleanliness and purity of Tasmania’s water produces a bright white salt flake with incredible flavour. Given that the one single ingredient in our salt is sea water from the Tasman Sea, it is imperative that we do everything we can to protect this resource.
When setting up the our saltworks, we spent a long time working with a local engineer who specialised in sustainable technologies. This has enabled us to use sustainable energy throughout the production process, thereby protecting the environment we work in. As a business, this sustainable approach is hugely important to us and remains a point of focus as we grow our business.
Luckily for us, salt making is an incredibly clean process. The only by-product of our production process is fresh water vapour, so making sure we remain true to this value does not prove too challenging.
Where would we find Tasman Sea Salt?
Tasman Sea Salt is now sold in quality food shops, providores and grocers across Australia. For a list of where we are stocked visit our website at http://www.tasmanseasalt.com/new-south-wales/. And of course if you are visiting Saporium you can find us on the shelves at Wholefoods House.
What is your involvement with Vive?
We are thrilled to be the salt of choice for VIVE Cooking School. There is a real synergy between VIVE, Saporium and Tasman Sea Salt as we all have a strong focus on supporting small artisanal producers and sourcing fresh, quality produce. The value of being able to buy and cook with seasonal produce sourced from your immediate surroundings rather than being shipped half way around the world can’t be emphasised enough. It's what we're passionate about, and it's what VIVE is passionate about. So it's a match made in culinary heaven really!
Other than being the salt of choice for VIVE, are there any other ways we'll be seeing Tasman Sea Salt in the VIVE kitchen?
We are very excited about our collaboration with VIVE Cooking School, not just in respect of Tasman Sea Salt but we are working on an opportunity to host a Tasmanian-themed cooking class of our own. One of the fantastic things about coming from Tassie is that we are surrounded by a multitude of incredible food and wine producers – from pig farmers, truffle growers and cheese makers to some of the best cold climate wines the world has to offer. And we hope to bring this to VIVE in the coming months.
A lovely taste of Tasmania in Rosebery, now we love the sound of that! Thanks Alice and Chris for sharing your wonderful salt story.
Watch this space...