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York-based Slack Tide Sea Salt makes salt using water harvested off Maine coast

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.


Salt is so important and has been to the livelihood of man since the beginning of time. It is the only rock that we eat and you can't live without it.

-Lauren Mendoza

Wars have been fought over it. Trade routes established. Fries are better because of it.

We all eat salt, but few of us know how it is harvested and dried before it ends up in the kitchen. In this episode, we visit Slacktide Sea Salt in York. Rather than using modern technology to pump sea water and boil the brine, Lauren pumps water by hand and uses solar-powered greenhouses to create beautifully pure salt. Since eating salt is basically eating the sea, water health is of utmost importance not only to the salt quality but to Maine's coastline; it hurts her to see people dumping pollutants and lawn care runoff into the ocean.

In the kitchen, Chef Josh teaches how to make a crowd-pleasing Whole Salt Baked Fish and Maggie shows how to preserve lemons in four different styles. The Leftover Idea is Fish Cakes with a butter-tomato sauce and the Chef Tip teaches how to use several different style of salt, including alternatives like seaweed flakes.


Making Sea Salt with Lauren and Cathy of Slack Tide — WildFed Podcast #084


Lauren Mendoza & Cathy Martin | Sea salt harvesters & owners of Slack Tide



  • Introducing Slack Tide owners, Cathy & Lauren

  • How to make salt from sea water

  • Slack Tide's sea salt flavors

  • Salt's importance in our diet and history

  • Live sea salt testing

  • Where to find Slack Tide


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