Deadly sins. Days to create the world. Dwarves. Seven is the all-encompassing number we needed for this universal salt and pepper blend. Sweet, crunchy, smooth, and sparkling, it's balanced, more flavorful than simple salt, and never too salty. Dynamite on rare steak, poached salmon, or baked potatoes, and out of this world on popcorn.
Coastal Maine sea salt
is small-batch harvested by Steven Cook and his wife, Sarah, owners of the Maine Sea Salt Company. It is staring-into-the-sun white and briskly clean.
Bali Taksu flake salt
is structured like crystalline Mayan pyramids. It has a reserved salinity and is lemongrass bright.
Alaea Volcanic Red sea salt
picks up its rosy tint from health-promoting Alaea volcanic clay that lines the salt evaporation pans; it is mildly alkaline, which gives it a unique tongue-tingling quality.
Kilauea Black sea salt
starts with Popohaku Opal salt harvested on Hawaii’s Molokai Island; the salt is filtered through activated charcoal, resulting in an incredibly lush texture and deep onyx color.
Kala Namak rock salt
, the ancient healing Indian salt, is made by melting finely crushed crystals with spices, which boosts the iron content, lends an amethyst sheen to the crystals, and gives them a mildly egg-like aroma.
Halen Mon Gold flake salt
from Wales is cold-smoked over Welsh oak into luminous amber shards. The crazy trapezoid shaped crystals give 7 Salt a subtle natural smokiness.
Himalayan Pink coarse rock salt
is mined in the Punjab region of Pakistan from 500-million-year-old salt deposits. The medium-coarse crystals lend textural distinction, bright flavor, and beautiful pale pink glimmers to the blend.
are the highest grade of pepper grown on Mount Tellicherry in the Malabar region of southern India. Tellicherry are given extra time to ripen on the tree, giving them more pungent, aromatic oils than other peppercorns.
Dried Green Peppercorns
are the freeze-dried unripe fruit of Piper nigrum
, the same vine the produces black peppercorns. They deliver a fresh mild peppery tingle and green fruity flavor to the blend.
Pure Cane Sugar
originates in cane juice that is pressed, evaporated, and crystallized from tropical grasses native to Asia.
Building the Blend
Mark, Dave, and Andy selected the salts in the 7 Salt blend for their variety of crystalline structure, luminosity, color, aroma, and minerality. Ironically this blend, which is almost exclusively salt, exposes you to the vast array of sensory experience that is ignored when you lump the whole world of mineral salts into a catch-all single ingredient, “salt.” We treat the Himalayan pink salt crystals with special care. They are typically available in coarse and fine grinds. But neither was just right for this blend. So we grind the coarse crystals to a medium-coarse texture to better match the other salts and peppers here. For the pepper in this salt-and-pepper mix, we hand crack Tellicherry peppercorns and green peppercorns by the batch using the broad-side of a heavy antique cleaver on a wooden work surface. Of course we could buy pre-cracked peppercorns but we would miss the forearm workout, and the aroma just isn’t the same. As with other Chef Salt blends, we use a little sugar in 7 Salt to season it, not to make it sweet. Adding sugar to a salt and pepper blend amplifies the secondary mineral flavors of the salts and vegetal flavors of the peppercorns.
The Chef's Quick Fixes
- Sprinkle 7 Salt on popped popcorn with freshly grated Parmesan
- Put 7 Salt on the table in place of salt and pepper – pick up the flavor of everything you serve
- Scatter 7 Salt on scrambled eggs, or fried, or poached, or boiled, or ....
- Toss olive oil, wine vinegar, and 7 Salt on salad – no more bottled dressings!
- Rub 7 Salt on grilled chicken, serve with a squirt of lemon.
- Pinch 7 salt on steamed broccoli, sautéed green beans, or grilled corn
- Try 7 Salt, sour cream mashed potatoes
- Roll a log of goat cheese in 7 Salt and warm under the broiler; serve with toast or crackers
- Use 7 Salt to season pan sauces and gravies
- Sprinkle 7 Salt on pizza dough for amazing focaccia