Cooking at home with Cornish Sea Salt

Cornish Sea Salt

A big benefit of staying in a self-catering cottage in Cornwall, is you don’t have to eat out for every meal. Enjoy cooking up a delicious feast in the comfort of your own little Cornish kitchen - and with a wealth of local produce available in our farm shops and delis, there’s plenty of inspiration to try out new dishes and ingredients.

We caught up with Philip Tanswell, the managing director of one of Cornwall’s most successful food producers, Cornish Sea Salt, on the history of the brand, and how to incorporate the ingredient into your cooking to make it even more tasty.

Philip Tanswell


Can you tell us a little about the background of Cornish Sea Salt. How did it all start?

It was a chance discovery that inspired the reinvention of the ancient industry of Cornish Sea Salt for the modern world. The original founder, Tony Fraser, came across an Iron Age salt works in a remote cove on the south coast of Cornwall while out walking. With rock salt having become an easier way of harvesting the mineral over the years, he set out on a mission to re-imagine the sea salt industry for the 21st century.

Today it’s my mission to continue to bridge the gap between the ancient and modern world in salt production. Our Salt House is still inspired by the original methods of harvesting the goodness of the ocean, referencing century old techniques. I’m a self-confessed “salt geek” and have journeyed around the world to source electrolytes from natural sea salts to enrich our brines, allowing the correct conditions for our sea salt flakes to form, allowing us to develop our range.


What makes Cornish Sea Salt so unique?

The Atlantic waters off the shores of The Lizard, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, are the source of where we get our Cornish Sea Salt from. These Grade A waters possess a distinct mineral profile, thanks to the area’s unusual rock geology. Beneath the waves lies a totally unique geographical environment, comprising the rocks serpentine and gabbro - both rich in magnesium and calcium, two of the key minerals in sea salt and essential to life on earth. This sea science makes our salt different from others. Unlike so many other salts, our Cornish Sea Salt is rich in over 60 minerals, that bring out the taste and flavour of food in a truly incredible way.


What is the secret to choosing the right salt?

We’ve worked really hard in our salt house to create different textures and flavours of salts to really make your dishes pop. The three “Salty Essentials” for us are Crystals, Flakes and Smoked. Cornish Sea Salt Crystals are moister and chunkier than flakes, and stay crunchy for longer. If it’s texture and flavour you’re after, then these are great for adding a burst of zesty mineral flavour to sweets and bakery products such as brownies, ice cream and salted caramel, as well as salads and roasted vegetables.

In contrast, our Cornish Sea Salt Flakes are more delicate with a mineral-rich flavour that initially hits the palate and withdraws to enhance other ingredients. The flakes are ideal as a centrepiece for use as a condiment or as a finishing salt on most dishes. They will also melt more easily, making them particularly good in sauces, marinades or herby rubs on meat.

In our Smoked Flakes, two simple ingredients speak for themselves: sea salt and smoke, using specialist cherry and apple wood. The natural freshness of salt combined with a subtle barbecue tang has a transformative effect on food, intensifying savouring flavours and adding an unexpected twist to desserts.

How do you come up with new products and flavourings?

We mix a little of what we know our customers will love, along with food trends. Working with our development chef, James Strawbridge, has allowed us to get really experimental with flavours, from locally inspired Saffron Salt through to our newest Simple Seasonings: Lemon Pepper and Mexican Salt.  

Where can guests buy Cornish Sea Salt?

You’ll find us in most Cornish delis and farm shops. If you’d like to find out where your nearest stockist is, email info@cornishseasalt.co.uk or call 0845 337 5277.

Recipe: The Ultimate BLT

Serves 2

Ingredients

4 rashers smoked bacon

2 large green tomatoes, sliced

2 tbsp polenta

1 tsp Cornish Sea Salt Flakes

Shredded lettuce

2 English muffins

1 tbsp olive oil

For the basil mayo

6-12 leaves of basil

4 tbsp of mayo

Pinch of Luxury Salt & Peppery

Method

1. Fry your smoked bacon in a little drizzle of oil for 10-15 minutes until crispy.

2. Meanwhile coat your sliced tomatoes in a dusting of polenta seasoned with Cornish Sea Salt Flakes and fry on a medium heat until golden.

3. Make the basil mayo by blitzing the basil and mayo until smooth. Add Salt and Peppery seasoning to taste.

4. Build your ultimate BLT sandwich in a toasted English muffin, starting with a generous dollop of basil mayo on the base, then layer shredded lettuce, cooked bacon rashers and tomatoes.

BLT