Every now and then, I like to indulge my inner deconstructionist by focusing on a specific ingredient and indulging in its most pure form. This past year I got granular with New York City-based Urban Sproule’s handcrafted salts during my annual all-out holiday feast. I figured that topping a carefully curated meal that’s been weeks in the making with regular old table salt would be like wearing work boots with a party dress, so I began hunting for the perfect saline topper. Sarah Sproule’s urban farm, nestled among the buildings of Midtown Manhattan, had just what I was looking for. Sproule lets the wind and sun do the heavy lifting—evaporating salt water harvested 30 miles off the coast of Montauk, which eventually crystallizes in handmade clay trays. The resulting salts, flavored with herbs from farmers in mostly upstate New York, are demonstrative of her commitment to locavorism, and come in a myriad of flavors such as celery, lemon verbena, Thai chili, squid ink, and farmer’s herb. They were perfect for my holiday spread, but even now, after festivities have taken a back seat to the daily grind, I find myself equally delighted each time I dress up a morning omelet with a simple, assertive pinch of the Thai chili salt.
Urban Sproule Salts, $8 per 1.5-ounce vial or $40 for a flight of four at urbansproule.com