I met a guy at an event today who knows a thing or two about foraging. He's rather a specialist, and I'll tell you about his main passion tomorrow.
But today, as he was salting a dandy creation he had just stirred up on a hotplate in the classroom, he waved his little jar of salt at us admiring students.
The little unlabeled jar reminded me of my own little jar of home-evaporated salt for some reason, except his salt was whiter, chunkier, more beautiful.
And he said, "Anyone a salt fan?"
Cranky and I shot up our hands. We must have 16 different types of salt in our designated salt pantry, including our own.
"Try this fleur de sel," said the teacher. I made it myself."
We squealed. I try not to squeal much, but there you have it.
"We make our own, too!" said Cranky, though ours is not technically fleur de sel — it's boiled ocean.
Even so, I basked in perceived mutual admiration. Foodie to foodie, saltie to saltie. Brownie points. Salted caramel points!
Until he began to describe where he gets his raw materials. From natural salt basins on the Sonoma Coast. He scoops handfuls of wet, concentrated, clean salt crystals from wave-filled indentations on the rocky cliffs, lets it dry out briefly on a hot rock, and then takes it home to bake in the sun for a few weeks.
Showoff. Know it all. Smarty pants.
(Did I actually say just the other day my feelings aren't that easily crushed? Pshaw.)
Well. That's fine. That's why we were paying him to teach us. He's the pro.
But dammit, the subject of the seminar was entirely something else, and here he's all Mr. Salt, too.
Pride: scuffed, nothing terminal. I'll be OK.
Bonus: He told us where the salt basins are, and I'm going. Soon.
Even if it begins to rain and I can't bake it in the sun, Cranky said, "Just dry it out in the oven and don't tell."