Pangasinan’s Gourmet Rock Sea Salt
Last night’s news featured a Filipino couple in the United States selling rock salt they are importing from the Philippines. The news said that this kind of salt is highly sought for by chefs of high-end restaurants because it leaves a distinct flavor to the dish compared to the ordinary table salt we buy at the grocery. Rock salt, the cheapest kind we buy here locally, is in demand by top-rated restaurants because it makes food a lot tastier than the usual salt.
I also use rock salt when cooking. I have found out that it indeed does make foods tastier. There is something in rock salt that makes food more flavorful and delicious. Ordinary table salt passes through different stages of processing and refining which may cause it to lose some of its natural properties and minerals. Rock salt is obtained through simple yet out-dated process involving solar evaporation. Seawater is allowed to flood into a baked clay field lined with bricks. Under the heat of the sun the water evaporates and leaves its residue, salt. The chuncks of salt are harvested and purified by boiling water. Then the rock salt is suspended in baskets to allow water to drip and when dry, the result is a medium grain rock salt that is clean and flavorful .
One of Pangasinan’s main product is rock salt or in tagalog “asin.” In fact the name Pangasinan means ‘a place where salt is made’. Small salt manufacturers dot the province’s coastline. Last night’s feature must be good news to them. Suprisingly, the common rock salt, a source of income for many self-employed individuals in the province is getting popular and receiving good worldwide attention and reputation.
photos courtesy of bustria salt farm