On the Make: Jacobsen Salt Co., Orgeon
This week we’re excited to introduce a company that we’ve had our eye on for sometime. Last month we ventured out to Portland Oregon and had the privilege of a night on the town with Ben Jacobsen, founder of Jacobsen Salt Co. Ben’s in the final throws of his Kickstarter campaign, a cause near and dear to our hearts. And you didn’t hear it here but don’t be surprised if a Best Made x Jacobsen Salt makes its debut in the coming months…
My company harvests pure flake crystal salt straight from Oregon’s cold ocean waters. Water is first filtered and settled. Then, using traditional methods, boiled to reduce not only volume, but also pair back Calcium and Magnesium that give many sea salts a slightly bitter, or astringent aftertaste. We slowly evaporate the water in large, custom-made steel pans until crystals form. Crystals are gently pulled from the water and then set to dry. From start to finish, the process takes more than 40 hours per hand-harvested batch. What we’re left with is an incredibly beautiful, delicate salt flake; one that has structural integrity, but yields to your fingertips. My salt has a bright, clean, briny flavor, with no bitter aftertaste.
Humans have harvested salt for nearly as long as we’ve walked the earth. Salt is an essential element that is needed for survival. It’s long been appreciated around the world, and in the United States, up until recent history. Salt once traded ounce for ounce with gold in the Africa. After the 19th century industrial revolution in the United States, salt became a commodity. We were a quickly growing nation, and what better way to supply a fast-growing nation than to commoditize one of the essential elements for survival, an ingredient that transcends everything in food.
After the commoditization of salt (and other products) during the industrial revolution, salt began to be taken for granted. It was chemically produced, completely uniform, lacking texture, and though not all that tasty, became the standard in most American kitchens. Commoditization of salt in the US happened while the majority of the world still used traditionally harvested sea salt. Americans largely forgot about good salt, how it was made, and what it meant. Good salt meant simple pleasures in well-seasoned food. It meant a delicate flakey crystal that lends a slight crunch with each bite.
Simple pleasures are so important, and sea salt is gradually making a comeback in the United States. People now take pleasure in using fresh, seasonal ingredients, better meat, fish, and eggs with actual flavor. The time for salt’s renaissance in the US is now. It’s time to appreciate what we eat, and pay attention to details.
Jacobsen Salt Co. is lead by Proprietor Ben Jacobsen. Jacobsen strives to create the best finishing salt America has to offer. Harvested from the cold waters of the Oregon Coast, Jacobsen Salt Co.’s finishing Salt has gained much critical acclaim for the beautiful taste, texture, and appearance of theirSalt, used by Chefs and home cooks. Jacobsen previously founded Mobspot, amobile applications discovery platform. Prior to founding Mobspot, Jacobsen lead global marketing for Opera Software (www.opera.com), a publicly traded company on the Oslo Stock Exchange. Jacobsen holds an MBA from Copenhagen Business School, Copenhagen Denmark, and a BA from University of Washington.
Support the Jacobsen Salt Co. Kickstarter campaign in their final week of fundraising.
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- charlottexcsullivan said: This is cool! I made some of my own salt when it was maple sugaring season at the farm back in ‘08! Pretty cool to have two boils going: one sugar; one salt
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