Open a jar of our Balsam Fir Salt and let the intoxicating aroma take you to the sugar maple forests of the Adirondacks in early spring. Patches of snow still dot the forest floor and the ground is squishy underfoot. Around you, Balsam fir trees are just starting to sprout their new, bright green needles and the sweet scent of fresh pine fills the warm air.
Balsam fir tips are super-seasonal and the window for harvesting them is fleeting. When the trees put out their sweet aromatic new needles, foragers only have a few weeks to pick them before they darken and turn fibrous.
In those few weeks a group of H-2A agricultural experts from Jamaica hand-pick the delicate fir tips. These are the same folks who carefully forage our wild ramps and who tap maple trees for syrup and maintain upstate NY's extensive apple orchards. Immediately after the fir tips were foraged, we dehydrated and ground them in order to capture their resinous and herbal aroma.
After dehydrating and grinding, we mixed the fir tips with Syracuse Salt Co.'s outstanding Salina Crystal Salt that is harvested from underground salt springs in upstate New York. The result is a seasonal finishing salt for steamy dishes that need just a touch of lightness.
Whether it's sprinkled over brownies, mixed into a medley of root vegetables, or used as a finishing salt for steamed fish or shrimp, you'll find so many uses for this special salt.
- Origin: Adirondack Mountains, NY
- Process: Saltwater is slowly dehydrated, then hand-blended with dehydrated and ground balsam fir tips
- Ingredients: Salina Crystal Salt (NaCl) & hand-picked balsam fir tips (Abies balsamea)
- Tasting notes: Pine needles • Hops • Forest Air
- Used as a finishing salt over shrimp or steamed fish
- Sprinkled over brownies or chocolate chip cookies
- A topping for rice or roasted root vegetables
- Pairs well with: Wild Ramps, Robusta Black Peppercorn, Cured Sumac
Our balsam fir tips were hand-picked in a sugar maple forest in NY's Adirondack mountains in the spring of 2021. This is the same forest where we harvest our Wild Ramps and where New Leaf Tree Syrups tap trees for their excellent maple, birch and other tree syrups.
ABOUT SYRACUSE SALT CO.
David and Libby, otherwise known as the father-daughter dynamic duo making up Syracuse Salt Co.
David was born and raised in the industrial town of Syracuse, NY, which sits on the edge of Onondaga Lake. The town got the nickname the "Salt City" way back in the 18th century for the salt springs found all along the shores of the lake. In fact, the massive salt deposit in the Salina shale formation (from 400+ million years ago!) made Syracuse the epicenter for salt production in the United States in the 1800s.
Fast forward to today. David left his job as a grounds manager for Sodexo to start a salt company. He rented a small warehouse and hired a crew to install a long pipe deep into a patch of dirt right outside the warehouse.
How deep? He'd reviewed the geological surveys for the area, but you can never be certain what you'll find until you start digging. So they started digging, crossing their fingers to hit a well of incredibly salty water before they got to the impenetrable bedrock below. After digging 300 feet straight down, David gave the OK to stop. He tasted the water that they pumped up through a green garden hose, and his eyes lit up. They were pulling up pristine water from the shale that was 13% salt, which is 3 times the salinity of ocean water. Syracuse Salt Co. was in business.
Today, David and his daughter Libby have a small but growing salt production facility. While mineral salt is typically mined in big blocks and ground by heavy industrial machinery, Syracuse Salt Co. gently evaporates the salty water to form crunchy cubic towers. Then, the salt is scooped up, laid out on trays to dry, and carefully sifted to preserve its perfect shape and texture.
i bought these as presents for my sisters, who are both adventurous cooks. they love them!!