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J.Q. Dickinson Ramp Sea Salt

Heirloom finishing salt, flavored with local ramps.

Quick Overview:

The purest sea salt we've had in some time. Flavored with dried local ramps.

Quick Facts

Origin: Virginia, United States
Unit Size: 1 oz.

The Flavor Experience

If one word could be used to sum up why it’s better for you – and why it’s tastier – it would be this: Purity.  Because the Iapetus Ocean is totally devoid of contamination, and because the make process involves nothing but the sun’s heat and human hands, Dickinson Salt is clean and mineral-rich. It’s as though you were able to harvest sea salt from the Paleozoic era. Taste a few crystals off your finger.  It’s crunchy and pleasant, but surprisingly not overly salty.  Their Ramp Salt is flavored with local, dried wild onions for an extra layer of flavor depth.

The Story

The origin of this salt dates back approximately 400 million years, when the Iapetus Ocean was enveloped by colliding landmasses and the Appalachian Mountains were formed.  The Iapetus has remained untouched, unseen and unilluminated by the sun, preserving what is now the most pristine saltwater reserve in the world.  The only hint to its existence was a handful of springs burbling salt water, first identified by Native Americans who witnessed wildlife licking nearby rocks.  

Settlers began boiling this “brine” in the early 19th Century, and William Dickinson officially started his business in 1817.  Using a hollowed out tree trunk for piping, he pumped water from the Iapetus Ocean hundreds of feet below the ground.  By the 1850s, there were hundreds of salt producers along the Kanawha River, making it the largest salt producing region in the United States.  In 1851, it was named Best Salt in the World at the World Fair in London. 

The principal customers for the salt were the meat packers in Cincinnati.  But as the meat industry moved north to Chicago, salt produced in the Great Lakes replaced Kanawha salt.  Production of West Virginia salt slowly waned until 1945, when the Dickinson family became the last farm to close up shop. 

A few years ago, 7th generation sister and brother, Nancy and Lewis, decided to revive the family tradition.  Inspired by the farm-to-table movement, and the need for transparency in the food chain, they believed today’s customer would respond favorably to their history and product. Using centuries-old maps hoarded in the attic, they drilled a well in the exact spot where their great-great-great-great-grandfather first drilled his.  They struck their target on the first try.  

The production is simple, bordering on quaint. Salt water is pumped by hand and held for a week to clarify. It is then moved into a sun house where the water content is solar-evaporated, concentrating the salinity.  Using a wooden rake, the resulting salt crystals are harvested onto cloth to dry, before being hand-scooped into the final retail jar.  

Because the process is as non-interventional as it gets, relying strictly on Appalachian mountain air and the sun’s heat, the production time can take anywhere from four to thirteen weeks.

Usage Tips

Use to finish anything from pasta to salad to fish dishes.

Full Description
$6.00
/ ea.

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Product Description

The purest sea salt we've had in some time. Flavored with dried local ramps.

Quick Facts

Origin: Virginia, United States
Unit Size: 1 oz.

The Flavor Experience

If one word could be used to sum up why it’s better for you – and why it’s tastier – it would be this: Purity.  Because the Iapetus Ocean is totally devoid of contamination, and because the make process involves nothing but the sun’s heat and human hands, Dickinson Salt is clean and mineral-rich. It’s as though you were able to harvest sea salt from the Paleozoic era. Taste a few crystals off your finger.  It’s crunchy and pleasant, but surprisingly not overly salty.  Their Ramp Salt is flavored with local, dried wild onions for an extra layer of flavor depth.

The Story

The origin of this salt dates back approximately 400 million years, when the Iapetus Ocean was enveloped by colliding landmasses and the Appalachian Mountains were formed.  The Iapetus has remained untouched, unseen and unilluminated by the sun, preserving what is now the most pristine saltwater reserve in the world.  The only hint to its existence was a handful of springs burbling salt water, first identified by Native Americans who witnessed wildlife licking nearby rocks.  

Settlers began boiling this “brine” in the early 19th Century, and William Dickinson officially started his business in 1817.  Using a hollowed out tree trunk for piping, he pumped water from the Iapetus Ocean hundreds of feet below the ground.  By the 1850s, there were hundreds of salt producers along the Kanawha River, making it the largest salt producing region in the United States.  In 1851, it was named Best Salt in the World at the World Fair in London. 

The principal customers for the salt were the meat packers in Cincinnati.  But as the meat industry moved north to Chicago, salt produced in the Great Lakes replaced Kanawha salt.  Production of West Virginia salt slowly waned until 1945, when the Dickinson family became the last farm to close up shop. 

A few years ago, 7th generation sister and brother, Nancy and Lewis, decided to revive the family tradition.  Inspired by the farm-to-table movement, and the need for transparency in the food chain, they believed today’s customer would respond favorably to their history and product. Using centuries-old maps hoarded in the attic, they drilled a well in the exact spot where their great-great-great-great-grandfather first drilled his.  They struck their target on the first try.  

The production is simple, bordering on quaint. Salt water is pumped by hand and held for a week to clarify. It is then moved into a sun house where the water content is solar-evaporated, concentrating the salinity.  Using a wooden rake, the resulting salt crystals are harvested onto cloth to dry, before being hand-scooped into the final retail jar.  

Because the process is as non-interventional as it gets, relying strictly on Appalachian mountain air and the sun’s heat, the production time can take anywhere from four to thirteen weeks.

Usage Tips

Use to finish anything from pasta to salad to fish dishes.

SKU: JQD06

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