Vendredi Vocab: Maldon Salt

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Maldon Salt is made in the town of Maldon, which is on the Blackwater estuary in Essex, England. The salt is renowned for it’s clean, pure taste, and light flaky texture that seems to melt when it hits food. It is used as a finishing salt (as opposed to a salt used during cooking or backing), and you will find it on many of our dishes at both the girl & the fig and the Fig Cafe. In fact, at the fig cafe it is our table salt and you will find it on each table in the most adorable lidded ceramic salt pots.

Here’s a little backstory from the Maldon website:

Head back into history and the Essex coast was alive with salt making. At least 2,000 years ago, seawater was being partially evaporated and then heated in clay pots over open fires. When the water had gone, the pots were broken open to reveal the precious result: salt. Opening a distinctive Maldon box today is somewhat easier.

By the Domesday Book, 45 salt pans were operating in the Maldon area and hundreds more across Essex as a whole. Salt turns up in place names across the county, the Guild of Saltmakers was founded in 1394 and its sign, the three cups, is still seen in Essex.

But like so many good things, saltmaking was taxed and, eventually, taxed almost out of existence. Except that is for Maldon, the last survivor of the Essex saltmakers and proud standard bearer of traditional high quality salt making.

There are good reasons why Maldon Salt is in Maldon. Flat tide-washed marshes and low rainfall mean high salinity and the ideal place to start the Maldon Salt Company in 1882.

There was something special about this salt from the beginning: sold in Harrods and Fortnums within a few years, first exported (to Sweden, land of salt connoisseurs) in the middle of the last century, recommended by St Delia in 2000, and granted the Royal Warrant on its 130th birthday in 2012.

Source: official Maldon website

 

 

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We are currently garnishing the bistro plats du jour appetizer with Maldon salt. It pairs beautifully with the creaminess of the marinated ricotta, and the freshness of the olive oil.

Marinated Ricotta Crostini: frill mustard, saba must, olive oil, maldon salt.

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Photo credit: Chef Jeremy Zimmerman

For the a look at the full Bistro Plat du Jour, click here, or come visit us at the girl & the fig!

Vendredi means “Friday” in French. Each week we add something new to our culinary vocabulary by delving into a word from our menu. We love food, we love words, and we love to learn something new. We also love Fridays.

Happy Vendredi, everyone!

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