In the month or so since my conversation with David Noll, founder of Pacific Resources International, purveyor of fine sea salts and manuka honey, there's been a lot of cooking and eating going on. It's amazing how such a seemingly simple ingredient like salt can really enhance a dish by highlighting different flavors or providing a greater dimension of savoriness. I can't go so far as to say that salt can make or break your dinner, but a high-purity brand can certainly render your meal more memorable. Although I am still not done experimenting with PRI's diverse line of salts, I would like to report some notable successes. The flaky sea salt heightened the brine and piquancy of squid pan-seared in lemon olive oil.
And, if you're going to take the time to make your own soft pretzel, you sure as hell better garnish them with some salt.
When your in-laws from Up North come to visit, we served them lamb chops from Down Under seasoned with PRI fine Pacific Sea Salt to take the unctuous ovine cuts to the next level.
Spaghetti carbonara likewise benefited from a slight dusting of the fine salt, playing well with the (much heavier) dusting of parmigiano-reggiano and bacon.
What's next? Well, with summer fast approaching, I'm thinking margaritas rimmed with coarse salt, grilled meats prepped with mesquite salt, and ice cream drowned in (what else?) salted caramel sauce. Thanks to PRI, I can continue my culinary variations on a theme.
David Noll thought he going to New Zealand to surf.
That was the plan, anyway, when this intrepid entrepreneur relocated in the 1970s. His passion for riding the waves led to a greater appreciation of the country's peerless beauty and unique natural resources, including the sea salt harvested from its surrounding oceans.
Fast forward thirty years later and Noll is leading the campaign to promote the health benefits of NZ sea salt to the American public via his company Pacific Resources International.
PRI salts are obtained through solar and wind evaporation of sea water, a process that allows for the retention of minerals such as calcium and magnesium that are lost in other (re: standard American) forms of refinement.
All of the aforementioned information I could have just gleaned from PRI's press release but I wanted to hear from the man himself, so I arranged a chat with David Noll and then followed up on his claims regarding the proven health benefits. Both checked out; it should also be mentioned that David is friendly chap with a good sense of humor.
But who cares if the proof is in the pudding if the pudding itself doesn't taste good? Noll and PRI were generous enough to send Bridey several of their products, including their Manuka honey, to review and experiment with in the kitchen.