Our specialist for April is Luke Hodgson, UK MD of Salinity, owners of the Falksalt brand. Salinity are launching their full range of specialist salt at Ocado this month:
Today people seek quality and value in equal measure to enhance their food and high quality gourmet finishing salts deliver maximum bang for very little extra cost. Salt, in sensible measure, is the ultimate way of bringing the best taste out of food and there is just nothing else that can replace it. The trend is to use salt carefully; use the best you can; make it add some drama to the food – and this is precisely why Falksalt mediterranean sea salt flakes from Cyprus have become so popular. These flakes are unique: large pyramid flakes between 4 and 12mm hand made from pure sea water using no chemicals in our Cyprus factory.
In addition, we are the only producers of genuinely flavoured salt – the large, many-facetted crystal enables us to get a flavour/spice to adhere to the crystal – nobody else can do this! The flavoured flakes glint and sparkle on the outside of the food when sprinkled on just before serving giving a really unusual (and delightful) appearance and taste. They come in nine flavours: wild garlic, lemon, rosemary, chipotle, black, natural, wild mushroom, smoke and chilli.
Falksalt is a brand marketed by Salinity – a 180 year old Swedish family-owned business which still today specialises only in salt. Falksalt Mediterranean Sea Salt Flakes are actually produced in a co-owned business with a Cypriot family that we came to know in the mid 1990s. The Cypriots were using generations-old techniques to produce these beautiful unique flakes and we just knew that this was exactly what the burgeoning gourmet market would love. Over the last decade we have painstakingly developed the flavoured range and scaled up production without losing the hand-made aspect which in fact is the only way the flakes can be made.
The process of making sea salt flakes
The process of making Falksalt does not involve chemicals – it’s entirely organic. Salt crystals are grown in salt pans (artificial ponds where water is drawn out through natural evaporation which allows the salt to be subsequently harvested). The crystals form initially on the surface of the water, but subsequent layers of crystalisation form below, and gradually the salt becomes heavier, eventually falling below the surface tension of the water. It’s harvested by hand and left to dry in the sun. When still not completely dry we take the salt back into the factory and add in the natural flavouring.