Friday, October 2, 2009

A Salty Giveaway

I stumbled upon the Maine Sea Salt Company at last weekend's Common Ground Country Fair. The company, based in Marshfield, employs sun and wind to speed the evaporation of seawater and harvest the natural salt. I wasn't planning to buy salt, since I had plenty at home, but once I tasted this smoked salt my imagination went wild. Smoked over a fire of apple wood, this salt has a deep, woody, slightly sweet flavor. Hickory smoked salt is deeper and darker.

The ingredients and preparation couldn't be simpler, but this packs incredibly rich flavor. It makes boring sliced cucumbers irresistible, and takes oven roasted potatoes to a whole new level. Smoked salt popcorn? Oh my, yes. And how about corn on the cob? Smoked salt would enhance tempeh bacon, seitan sausages, or any recipe that calls for liquid smoke.

Maine Sea Salt is available in specialty food shops across southern and central Maine and online, or you can win a taste of the North Atlantic: Maine Sea Salt will send a gift pack containing three salt grinders (apple smoked, hickory smoked, and natural) to one lucky reader! To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment on this post about your favorite use for sea salt. Amusing stories about swimming off the frigid coast of Maine may earn brownie points. I'll randomly choose a winner next Friday, October 9 (sorry, US residents only). What a way to kick off Vegan MoFo. Best of luck!

54 comments:

  1. Smoked salt - what a fun new discovery! I'd never heard of it! Bet we'd LOVE this, as we love liquid smoke (and smoked paprika!) This sounds like it would be delicious in my favorite split pea soup recipe (Compassionate Cooks' Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's recipe), since it uses both liquid smoke and salt to great effect...

    My favorite use of sea salt (just the plain white kind, which now seems so mundane!) is in my vegan "Happy As A Clam Clamless Chowder" recipe, a melding of two or three veg clam chowder recipes I found with some tweaks of my own. The sea salt and sea vegetables (dulse and kelp flakes) give it the aroma and flavor of the sea, and transport me from my home in Wyoming back to the Maine coast, where I used to live and we hope to return someday soonish (so your blog was another exciting find!) I wonder how this smoked salt might taste in my clamless chowder?

    Thanks for your wonderful blog, and happy MoFo'ing (and Gandhi's birthday!)

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  2. I love all the fancy salts. I've used smoked, but not apple smoked. I put salt on nearly everything. I actually have really low blood pressure, so I get to say, "My doctor told me NOT to limit my salt," which is awesome. I think smoked apple salt is crying out to be used in this salt caramel recipe - http://newvegantable.com/2009/10/salt-caramels

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  3. There is no better way to top off a Foccacia with sea salt and rosemary. Wish I had some for lunch!

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  4. chocolate dipped strawberries sprinkled with some coarse sea salt. oh and a dash on watermelon wedges! i find that salt really cuts through some of the sweetness of some fruits while also enhancing others. so simple but so good!

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  5. Ohh fancy salt is so exciting!

    My all-time favorite way to eat sea salt is rather simple. Sprinkled on top of a beautiful summer tomato, heirloom preferred. 2nd way would be over a cold, crunchy cucumber. Oh yes.

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  6. I use sea salt and olive oil to roast veggies. Simple and delicious!

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  7. Oooh, best giveaway ever! I love smoked salts of all kinds. One of my favorite uses — fry sliced bread in a little margarine in a skillet. Remove from heat and sprinkle with smoked salt. Simple and delicious.

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  8. how cool! that would seriously improve my dining hall life--i'd just carry it around in my purse!

    favorite use: roasted sweet potatoes!

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  9. sounds yummy! i'd love to try that!

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  10. Smoked salt?! that sounds amazing. The best use of sea salt in my kitchen would be topping fresh popped popcorn with a handful of nooch and course salt. So good.

    I've added your contest to my contest post!

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  11. I use sea salt on everything. It's the only salt I use! Unless a recipe calls for a fancier smoked or grey salt.

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  12. I like to use the fancy sea salt on top of the samosa baked potatoes from V'con, and other Indian dishes. It gives a "little something" that makes the dish special.

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  13. Kittee got me using smoked sea salt in her recipe for Portobello Grillades with Cheeze Grits, and collard greens. It seriously changed my life; any doubting omnivore would be converted by the flavor. I reeeeeeeally want to taste the apple blend!

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  14. Smoked salt!...sounds so good. I love to use sea salt on my roasted or grilled veggies with olive oil. YUM! :)

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  15. We are saltaholics, but don't really have any super cool uses for it. In other words, it's on everything.

    If I had to pick a favorite, it would probably be homemade pretzels.

    What an awesome idea for a giveaway!

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  16. I can't pick just one favorite way to use sea salt - I'm a total salt junkie. Everytime I put dinner out and we start eating I always say, "Does this need salt?" When I buy gray salt I go through the whole process of drying it in the oven and then grinding it finer. I've been dying to try smoked salt!

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  17. I love sea-salted green zebra tomatoes and sea-salted avocado on olive sourdough bread. mmm mmm mmm. The salt adds flavor and draws the juices out of the tomato into the bread.

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  18. On slices of big fat red juicy Tomatoes. HEAVENLY!!

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  19. I really like Sea Salt on cashews!

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  20. I think a smoked salt would be an interesting background note in a vinaigrette. Maybe with chives? The wheels are spinning already.

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  21. I love sea salt on cucumber slices.

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  22. Roast beets with smoked sea salt, olive oil, agave nectar and a little chili pepper.

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  23. chocolate and sea salt is amazing in every combination. or cantaloupe with coarse sea salt - soooooo sweet and delicious!

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  24. ohhh..sounds so good! I agree with Esme with the chocolate and salt combo..I also add a little to a "raw"chocolate milk that I make with cacao bits, almonds and dates..the salt really makes rounds out the chocolate flavor..I don't know how it works but I love it!

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  25. I have lived in New England my entire life, but I just only went to Maine for the first time earlier this year, while I was at a conference in Portsmouth, NH. I didn't do any swimming, though. :-)

    I love sea salt in so many things, I don't think I can pick one! I'd have to say on kettle corn is a favorite- sweet and salty!

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  26. I'm pretty simple when it comes to what I do with my salts. I love using unique combinations to top my stove popped corn and also sprinkled on a big batch of roasted organic russet potatoes. Delicious!

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  27. I love that the salt guys made you taste the salt too! I don't liked smoked stuff very much (I had a smoked BEER at 3 Tides in Belfast, eeeew), but I love my new sea salt! I like it pared with caramel the best.

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  28. I love focaccia doused heavily with salt..yum!

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  29. oh definitely coarse sea salt on thick slices of heirloom tomato. i LOVE salt and like ellie above, i get to use the "low blood pressure" excuse, i really hope that provides me with a lifetime of salty joy.

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  30. It might sound weird but buttery vegan caramel is taken to another level by adding a pinch of coarse sea salt. I didn't like it at first but then got used to the flavour ... hmm.

    Sünne

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  31. My favorite way to use sea salt is in baked goods. I love that perfect contrast it gives to sweet ingredients.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

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  32. Sea Salt is amazing for any dish it's the only kind of salt that I use.

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  33. i love sea salt on basically everything but it is especially great on avocado and tomato.

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  34. Popcorn all the way. Ooh, and roasted chickpeas.

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  35. Hmmmmm... My favorite use for sea salt... I love adding a bit of smoked salt to hummus! It's mighty delicious!

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  36. Ok, French grey sea salt mixed with herbs de provence sprinkled on top of olive oil and dipped up with a hot crusty baguette. I can't tell you how much of a difference it makes to use a nice salt in this.

    It sounds decadent, is decadent, and (un)fortunately we eat it a lot. My tummy thanks me for the food and blames me for needing bigger pants.

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  37. well i love salt, and i use redmond's real sea salt usually. i'm newly fond of black salt.

    the closest i can come to a swimming in frigid maine water story re: fort foster in kittery. it's rocky and smells and my daughter freaks when we go there. how's that? :D

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  38. I love to put salt on a bowl of tomatoes and avocado. Throw in some nooch and that is heaven!

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  39. How curious! I'm crazy about flavored salts and such, so I'm surprised this one has never crossed my path before. I'll have to keep an eye out for it now.

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  40. I tried out the frigid waters of Maine for the first time this summer. Now, I've lived in the South for the past decade. I've been swimming at the beach in December. With this in mind, it shocked me (literally, in an extremely blue-lipped way) how cold the water could be in the middle of July!

    My favorite use of sea salt is as a topping for caramel apples. It's like a fresh, sweet, sticky version of a pretzel!

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  41. I love coarse sea salt on a thick slice of heirloom tomato on a freshly toasted roll with a few sprigs of thyme. I also love anything smoked. Yum!

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  42. I love sea salt sprinkled on top of some juicy, bright red, homegrown tomatoes! mmmmm I lived in Kittery, Maine once upon a time but sadly never swam in it's frigid water :( It was gorgeous there and I miss it. So different from the west coast. Happy VeganMofo!!!

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  43. I love using ground sea salt to kick popcorn up a notch..sometimes I use teriyaki sauce and liquid smoke, plus nutritional yeast = crazy good popcorn. props to Vegan MoFo!

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  44. Aaagh, I almost went to Common Ground Fair this year, but then my mom scared me off with those articles on encephalitis!! We went apple/pumpkin picking instead, which was amazing (my allergies beg to differ), but now I am lacking in the smoked salt department. Vegan Brunch has turned me on to the wonders of smoked salt, and I am dying to try this on popcorn.

    I didn't even really go swimming when I lived in Los Angeles, let alone when I lived in Maine. I did stare at a lot of frigid waters though, if that counts.

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  45. Ohhhhh..... I love making vegetable chips (out of beets, carrots, kale, you name it) and I think smoked salt would up their deliciousness.

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  46. I love spreading a bit of Tofutti cream cheeze on toast, topping it with tomato slices, and then sprinkling on some sea salt.

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  47. This is the most boring answer ever, I'm sure, but my fave is sprinkled on french bakes (you know, french fries that are not so much fried as, well, you get the idea). I don't even need any ketchup if I have my sea salt.

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  48. These salts sound AMAZING! My favorite use for sea salt is generally when making pita chips. I also love salting the outside of baked potatoes, and also adding salt to roasted winter veggies. Thank you so much for this giveaway! ceevegnashville [at] gmail [dot] com

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  49. I think some roasted veggies or squash sprinkled with sea salt is perfect! I've actually never tried a "fancy" sea salt, but I'd love to try it!

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  50. wow, cool. in the last year or so, I've had a good time starting to learn about and exploring the world of specialty salts. One foodie friend gave a really special jar of sea salt from Big Sur, it's big and flaky and super white. I love it so much. I only use it for really special things like on top of my fresh tomato pizzas that I make sometimes. I love it so much, and I love the way the salt crystals hit my tastebuds... <3!

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  51. I love sea salt on watermelon.

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  52. My absolute favorite use for sea salt is simple: taken from coarse ground down a bit in my fancy salt grinder, tossed with nutritional yeast and olive oil on some popcorn. Simple, wonderful, satisfying flavors.

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