What’s the point of posh salt?

Sea salt, salt flakes, salt from Cyprus, salt from the Himalayas – can anyone really taste the difference?

Four months ago, officials from Food Standards Scotland arrived at the Lewis home of Natalie Crayton, the owner of the Hebridean Sea Salt Company, apparently acting on a tip-off from a former employee. Soon afterwards, these same officials first confiscated the salt at her premises near Loch Erisort, and then demanded that she contact her stockists, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s among them, and get their supplies recalled, pronto. According to the FSS, Hebridean Sea Salt was not, as its label suggested, made only from crystals harvested from evaporating sea water: last month, as its investigation continued, it revealed that more than 80% of it was imported table salt.

In the press, Crayton, a graduate of marine biology who started her business in 2012, mounted a defence of her seeming deception, claiming that she’d merely used a process known as “seeding”, during which small amounts of foreign crystals are added to the sea water in order to speed the drying process; this, she insisted, is a practice commonly used by leading brands. She also accused FSS of bullying her over what was really only a “labelling issue”. But it was no good. For one thing, her business had already ceased trading. For another, it isn’t true that companies such as Maldon Sea Salt or Halen Môn, on Anglesey, bulk up their products in this manner; following the revelations, Isle of Skye Sea Salt, which now finds itself Scotland’s only artisan salt producer, even took the trouble to write to its customers to remind them that its crystals are 100% Scottish and absolutely the real thing.

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from Food & drink | The Guardian http://ift.tt/2sJ8qmg

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