You may think of salt as an afterthought. Something you sprinkle on to make food taste better. But in fact, salt, like water, is required by the human body to sustain life. In the days before every house had a Sub-Zero in the kitchen, salt was the only way to preserve food, making it extremely valuable. In ancient Rome, some workers were even paid in salt, hence the term ‘worth one’s salt.’ All fun facts I learned talking to Peter Pierce, founder of Hamptons Salt Company.
Pierce started Hamptons Salt 3 years ago when, as a stay at home dad, he started researching what was going into the food he was making for his family. He found that most of the salt we’re buying is being stripped of all of its natural benefits by chemical companies, and having things like anti-clumping agents added in, to make them last longer.
“They took a natural ingredient and made it unnatural.”
They started out very small, but now have key local partners, and are working to build their reach online. Peter tells me that Baron’s Cove uses his salt in their Cove Chiller cocktail, and Osteria Salina‘s signature NY strip is seasoned with his smoked salt. Varieties available include everything from raw cooking salts, to smoked, to salts infused with flavors like ghost pepper, rosemary and black truffle. Pierce even offers a smoked chardonnay oak salt, made by smoking it for days over old wine barrels. Perfect for summer salmon on the grill. Peter sources his salt globally, making sure he gets to know the purveyors, and is producing the highest quality product. You can sense his passion when you talk to him, and it’s contagious. This is definitely a local business that’s worth its salt.
Here’s a new summer cocktail recipe Peter shared with me. Perfect for this weekend! (Or tonight, either way, I’m not judging.)
Hamptons Ginger Salt Margarita
Using lime wedge, rim glass and dip in Hamptons Ginger Salt
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add 1 1/2oz good tequila, 1/2oz Cointreau, 1/2oz fresh lime juice and a splash of ginger ale. Shake until ice cold and pour.