YORK, Maine —
A family-owned company is using ocean water from the Maine coast to create its own line of sea salt.
“It's just truly the ocean of Maine concentrated and put in a jar,” Slack Tide Sea Salt owner Lauren Mendoza said.
The recipe might sound simple, but Mendoza said it’s a complicated six weeks of work to go from ocean water to a jar of salt.
“I've been making salt for family and friends for years, but it was figuring out how we can accomplish that on a large scale and not lose any of the quality,” Mendoza said.
She founded York-based Slack Tide Sea Salt last year. Mendoza runs it with her aunt, Cathy Martin, and their husbands.
Mendoza said keeping the small-batch quality of her salt starts with the harvesting of seawater.
“We want the cleanest, purest water we can get,” Mendoza said.
She gets her ocean water from at least one mike offshore. The water is pumped from the ocean at the height of high tide, just before the tide goes slack.
“So, all that water is coming in, you're not getting a runoff. You're not getting anything from shore, the river. We go deep out into the ocean,” Mendoza said.
The water is brought back to shore and is hauled up to a greenhouse. Inside, it evaporates down to the salt flakes.
The salt is then filtered, dehydrated and flavored. Martin is behind the array of flavors of salt that include applewood, ghost pepper, lemon dill and lemon rosemary.
“I just add things that I think will taste good on particular food into the salt, trial and error and see what tastes best,” Martin said.
“Our salt is a very specific texture, so if you use it as a finishing salt, you'll have it kind of dissolve on your pallet. It's really nice,” Mendoza said.
Mendoza said their small-batch methods make superior salt.
“It can be very easy to make salt. It's not too easy to make salt really well, a really fine craft finishing salt,” Mendoza said.