Thursday, January 06, 2011

soSalt - Sicilian Sea Salt

Another unusual purchase from a 99¢ store. I think this was purchased on the same day as a tiny jar of anchovies in oil. I'm going to use the anchovies for Rachel Ray's Pasta Puttanesca recipe.

The box of salt is a kilogram in weight or 35.3 ounces. I bought it because I'm a sea salt hoarder. If I see salt, (maybe I should say if I see sea salt) I buy it. I've had sea salt from Tijuana, Baja California, Hong Kong, China, Maldon Salt from England and lots of other places. This is my first purchase of sea salt from Sicily. They company Sosalt spa has a Facebook page.

Sea Salt comes from the ancient saltpans of Trapani and Marsala where crystal water, together with the strength of wind and sun, creates a unique salt extremely rich in all the trace-elements found in sea water, such as magnesium, potassium and iodine making it more soluble and complete.

I'm unsure about the soluble part, but the market had pickling cucumbers at 3#s for $1 on Wednesday, only so, I purchase 8 cukes and they weigh: 3.80 pounds. I used 12 ounces of this Trapani salt and in another few days, I'll know whether the cukes "pickled" or not. They are in a food grade bucket, sitting, covered in the oven, with the light on. If the oven holds around 80° to 90° F. the first stage of fermentation will be done on this coming Sunday around 5 pm. It's then that, if the cukes fermented, that the pickling liquid can be strained of it's solids: herbs, spices, garlic cloves and boiled to kill off unwanted microorganisms. After that, the cukes go back into the tub for 4 to 6 weeks. Once done, I have to use all my willpower to restrain myself from gorging on them. Lactic fermented foods are a weakness. 

Friday, January 14th, 2011. I made a mistake last week with this. I should have used 4 ozs. of salt per gallon of water. The cucumbers have pickled, but are too salty. I will finish the fermentation in another 3 weeks, and then put the cukes in clear water to remove the salt. They will clear in a day or two with new water being added 2 to 4 times. Then the cukes will go into another salt brine of 4 ozs. per gallon.