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Boiling Down Bodega Bay: Hand-Harvested Pacific Flake Sea Salt

Bryon Duty explained his naiveté, “I used to think you couldn’t burn salt water.” Now, he admits that he has scorched a lot of pots learning to get a perfectly flaked sea salt out of the water he pumped from Bodega Bay.

Bodega Bay is classic Sonoma Coastline. It's a boulder strewn, awe inspiring Pacific Ocean mash-up of deep, cold nutrient rich upwells that host everything from microscopic species to whale migrations.  For all the oceany bluster of Bodega Bay, the seawater, when cooked down, leaves behind a mild, delicate flake salt. It has a clean, crisp flavor that’s effervescent at first and then fleeting as it dissolves. 

Bryon was inspired to create an artisanal, hand crafted California sea salt. He learned how to do it by trial-and-error, like finding out which metal works best for pots. For the techniques on crystallization, he referenced the Civil War era book by John LaConte,  “How to Make Salt from Sea-Water.”  Byron explained his process, “You have to get the temperature right and go slowly. Salt forms on the surface of the water and has to be continually harvested or it builds up and you waste your brine.”

His motivation was to find a local salt with no caking agents. That’s not easy, as most table salts are stripped of all nutrition, and then have anti-caking agents that help it sprinkle from a shaker. These include sodium aluminosilicate, bleach, and even trace amounts of cyanide.

Sea salt will have minerals like calcium, magnesium and zinc along with sodium. In fact, according to Rachel Carson, author of The Sea Around Us, the ratio of these compounds in the ocean is the same as the sodium in our blood. The ocean and our bodies share this essence. 

This sea salt is a very new product and is being produced in small, boutique batches. Real Good Fish is offering it on our webstore and we are wishing Bryon lots of luck with Pacific Flake.