This stuff is truly the salt of the earth – unpretentious and humble – and the seasoning our tongues all crave: salt. Mined and dried since pre-biblical times, it preserves and punctuates food and makes it…savory. Mmmm.
Strolling through the Larchmont Farmer’s Market on Sunday morning a couple of weeks ago, I was offered a smidgeon of black truffle salt from Hepp’s Salt Bar. The few grains on my tongue transformed me – could it be possible for so much flavor in a mere couple of tiny grains? I tasted a few others, and took home the rosemary blend, a ‘finishing’ salt that has transformed my eggs, and potatoes, and soups and a chicken into full-bodied delicacies. Made me seem like a REAL cook. And all it took was a couple flicks of the finger to make it happen.
Hepp’s Salt Barrel was founded by owner Brian Hepp who walked away from a career in the medical world when his passion for grilling and cooking led him to discover specialized gourmet sea salts from around the world. He finds unique salts from the U.S. and far-flung places (Cyprus, the Himilayas, Brazil, France to name a few) and mouth-watering blends that are mixed/made here in the states.
The most popular variety, that accounts for some 70% of his sales, is the White Truffle Sea Salt which Brian says he throws on a grilled NY steak to use to it’s fullest. Like the rosemary blend I bought, the White Truffel is a finishing salt that shouldn’t be cooked – but works miracles on pasta, french fries, mac ‘n cheese and – according to Brian Hepp – even POPCORN. There are signature salts, cooking salts, and smoked salts – it makes your mouth water just looking over the website’s offerings in their quaint tight bottles.
Brian started Hepp’s just a year ago and already has 8 salt reps selling at 14 Farmer’s Markets in addition to the online store. He says Larchmont Farmer’s Market is one of his busiest – so it sounds like it’s not just me that’s going back for more. This time I’m going to get the Thai Ginger Salt, and some White Truffle Sea Salt – for my Sunday night bowl of popcorn. Yum.Larchmont Farmer’s Market Every Sunday, 10am- 1 pm In the Larchmont Parking Lot