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We picked up a sample pot of Halen Mon sea salt - variety with Taha'a vanilla at the Real Food Festival a couple of weeks ago....
The first thing you notice - and a real surprise, is it looks like fine chocolate flakes!
What a party piece if you're out to impress - or a contestant on Come Dine With Me......remember to mention you heard about it on Dooyoo first :)
Halen Mon is harvested in Wales and comes in a variety of flavours....this vanilla type, Organic Spiced (will try that next), Oak Smoked and Organic Celery.
It does what it says on the tin..(cardboard tub to be precise)..pure sea salt flakes with added 10% natural Tahensis vanilla powder. No other additives or preservatives (salt is a preservative)
It's extremely strong, which becomes apparent when you put a few flakes on your tongue....and it almost goes numb.....then the subtle flavour of vanilla (and I perceived feint chocolate, but that was possibly my taste buds being shocked) comes into play.
It costs £4.50 per 100 gm drum which although sounding expensive for salt, it really is a culinary delight and you wouldn't chuck it over your fish and chips.
There are quite a few food outlets which sell it on the net...unfortunately I looked on the bigger supermarket sites and couldn't fine it, but I would expect your local health food shop may well sell it.
So - having impressed everyone around you with the initial look of the product - what do you do with it?
The Halen Mon website gives some interesting recipes - pigeon stew, and some fish and chicken recipes (although I can't say I'd be too keen on fish and vanilla), but apparently it's very good shaken (small amount only I would suggest) on chocolate (?) and pineapple...now that I can imagine would be very nice indeed.
And for the quickie taste test, sprinkled on hot popcorn....
Halen Mon isn't a table salt, but certainly worth giving a go if you like to try unusual foods and condiments....
Thanks for looking in :D
This is one of those counter-intuitive products that you have to try to really believe. Basically it is wonderful crunchy sea salt flakes infused with Vanilla from Tahitia.
It's a real top chefs choice and is recommended for use with white fish, shellfish (especially scallops) and in creamed vegetables and salad dressings.
Vanilla salt can also be paired with anything chocolatety and used in baking. So, for instance, where you might add a pinch of salt and vanilla essence to a cake recipe you would grind in a little of this instead. Or you might spinkle on top of shortbread.
Halen Mon salt crystals are made using Menai Straits sea water that is first filtered through a mussel bed, then passed through a sandbank and finally a charcoal filter. After heating to concentrate the brine, the water is released into shallow crystallisation tanks. The next morning the salt is harvested, rinsed and then carefully dried. The entire process from ocean to packing takes 10 days to complete.
The salt production process is chemical free and has been certified by The Soil Association. Each packet of salt is marked with the harvest date - and the salt maker's name.
Other Halen Mon products include Oak Smoked sea salt and spiced salt, as well as straighforward sea salt. All of these are expensive but when you have a product that it used in most of the top 50 restaurants of the world and is made in limited quantities then you have to expect to pay a bit more.
Of course, if you are out to impress it makes a great talking point being one of those products that only people who are really serious about gastronomy will have heard of.
Interestingly you need only use about half the quantity of Halen Mon Sea Salt to normal salt.
New luxury salt great for baking or fish and vegetables dishes. Spice up your life!