I've been observing this all month, and last night for dinner I tasted conclusive proof.
Local food tastes better.
It couldn't have been a simpler meal, and it's something we often have because of its simplicity and warm, comforting, earthy gooshiness: Baked potatoes with salt, butter, sour cream and chives.
The Sonoma sea salt arrived yesterday from SaltWorks, which is located in Redmond, WA. I am absolutely at a loss to give you any details about the Sonoma Gourmet company -- they have no web presence, other than a handful on online retailers, and the label tells nothing about it: no address, no phone number... only that the salt is produced on the West Coast of California from Pacific sea water "harvested in the USA."
Well, nonetheless. Beloved husband and co-cook and I each poked a finger into the bag. The salt is really nice tasting. Clean and pure, not strong or stinging in the throat -- kinda good!
So. We baked two enormous Yukon Gold potatoes from Peter Worsley's Farm in Inverness (Marin County). Opened them up and slathered them with Straus organic butter from Marshall (Marin County). Topped one half of each potato with Clover sour cream from Petaluma (Sonoma County) and the other half with whole-milk Saint Benoit yogurt from Bodega (Sonoma County). Sprinkled it all with chopped chives from my patio.
The good, clear flavor of the new salt was immediately evident, and it didn't wane throughout the meal. The potatoes were superb. The butter was not as buttery tasting as Clover's, but it's organic and comes from Marin -- and yet, it's farther away from our home than Petaluma.
The surprise was that the potato halves with the yogurt were twice as yummy as the ones with real sour cream. Less fat, twice the oomph. Imagine.