Roman soldiers were paid in salt, and they valued the mineral-rich salts of Cervia beyond all other currency. We still do. These supersized crystals awaken the same aromas of rosemary, fennel, and sage that filled the air when Caesar's legions roamed the Tuscan hillsides. Depend on this blend for grilling seafood, tossing pasta, or when chasing a wild boar through the underbrush.
Sel Dolce de Cervia
is hand-raked by salt workers who have been harvesting salt from the Aegean Sea in the same way since 965 A.D., when the first salt ponds were built in Cervia. It is so rich in nuanced flavor - floral, mineral, citrus – that the salinity of Cervia salt tastes sweet no matter what it's paired with!
flavor and pungency change from season to season and crop to crop, but once the bulb is dried, its flavor and pungency are set and range from sweet to earthy and mild to hot. We use garlic flakes that are flash-dried to capture those flavors before they oxidize.
delivers head-swirling aromas of pine, mint, wood, and eucalyptus. It still grows wild in its native sandy soil in the Mediterranean basin.
leaves appear small gray-green and indistinctive, but don't let that fool you. Their warm, refreshing flavor permeates everything they touch thanks to thymol, the volatile oil that characterizes this soothing herb.
grows wild in the Dalmatian hills that border the Adriatic Sea. It smells vaguely nautical like savory marsh plants with nose-tingling whiffs of mint and pine.
is related to oregano, but milder, more refined, and less strident.
Sweet Fennel Seeds
glow with pale gold and green hues. At first bite, they release a torrent of sweet anise followed by a breeze of menthol and a hint of wheat, leaving behind a cool and refreshing memory.
are the highest grade of pepper grown on Mount Tellicherry in the Malabar region of southern India. Italians have been importing Malabar pepper from India since Nicolo and Maffeo Polo (father and uncle of Marco Polo) crossed the Asian subcontinent in 1265.
Dried Green Peppercorns
resonate with fresh chlorophyll aromas that balance the sharp, peppery heat of black peppercorns (Piper nigrum).
Pure Cane Sugar
originates in cane juice that is pressed, evaporated, and crystallized from tropical grasses native to Asia.
Building the Blend
The hillsides of central Italy are so fragrant with forest herbs that it is difficult to decide which ones to use in a given dish. For this blend, we chose only those herbs that retain their rich aromas when dried, such as marjoram, and have passed over herbs that taste bland in their dried form, such as basil. We keep the leaves as whole as possible, creating a rough-textured seasoning that releases its full aroma only when the herbs are crushed between your fingers or cooked into your favorite dishes. We decorate the greenery with tiny diamonds of Sel Dolce de Cervia, one of Italy's most revered salts. The jagged, irregularly shaped crystals rattle through the herbs, piercing the leaves and releasing aromas. We hand-crack the hunkier chunks of salt to keep the blend coarse yet pleasant in texture. A little sugar brings out the aromatic vegetal flavors of the herbs.
The Chef's Quick Fixes
- Toss Tuscan Herb with pasta, extra-virgin olive oil, chopped ripe roma tomato and Parmigianna-reggiano
- Rub Tuscan Herb under the skin of roasted chicken, drizzled with olive oil
- Stir Tuscan Herb into turkey stuffing -- no other seasoning necessary
- Rub Tuscan Herb onto grilled porterhouse steak, douse with olive oil, and serve with lemon for an authentic bistecca
- Whisk Tuscan Herb with lemon juice (or wine vinegar), garlic, and olive oil for an all-purpose vinaigrette dressing
- Season your favorite spaghetti sauce with Tuscan Herb -- instant gourmet appeal
- Sauté scampi with lots of garlic, olive oil, white wine, and Tuscan Herb
- Season meatballs, burgers, or meatloaf with Tuscan Herb
- Toss Tuscan Herb with steamed mussels and pasta sauce; serve over garlic infused spaghetti
- Let Tuscan Herb convert your favorite pot roast recipe into a country brasiole