By: Mark Bitterman : Nov.02.2007
A while back I promised some photos of Maldon’s new smoked entry into the salt sphere. Here they are, along with some flavor and usage notes.I am eating some of Freddy Guys‘ freshly dry-roasted hazelnuts and drinking a glass of
Amnesia Brewing’s excellent copacetic IPA, which they sell to-go in mason jars, and contemplating Maldon Smoked Sea
Salt. The Maldon Smoked sea salt (smoked primarily with oak, but with a muddling of various other hardwoods in reportedly top secret proportion) is a little sharp, even
astringent in the nose, making it not one of my favorite salts to smell on its own. But that is perhaps irrelevant,
as I don’t need to smell every salt au natural before eating it, and when eating it, interesting things happen.
The delicate crunch of Maldon’s flaky crystals provides a very pleasant sensation in the mouth. Maldon has
preserved all the flaky delicacy of its regular flake seasalt in its hardwood smoked
seasalt. (Strangely, you comem across GIANT mutant flakes now and again (sometimes larger than a quarter), and I don’t recall seeing them so large so often in the non smoked sea salt.)
Then breath through your mouth while you chew. This practice, of course, may take some discretion on your part, as nobody wants to see too much heavy in-breathing and chewing at the table. If you walk amongst the
rough and ready, I definitely encourage you to just breath heavily, flinging Maldon smoked salt, chomping hazelnuts, slugging back gulps of beer, and contemplating the sensation.
But if your lifestyle calls for more reserve–doilys and manners and whatnot–then just try briskly salting your hazelnuts (or bread and butter, or cheese, whatever) and softly pull a breath of air through your ever-so-subtly parted lips (this is something familiar to wine tasters), feeling the action of air, salt, and food combine on your palate.
The result is a bit of a surprise: a waft of sweetness, a sharp-yet-rich quality, almost a little like candied citrus.
So, thumbs up, Maldon. Tonight it is cranberry and candied hazelnuts on a goat cheese and various greens salad for dinner. A perfect opportunity for Maldon Smoked salt.