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This week at the Farmer's Market....Sea Salt? Plus...a Giveaway!

A few weeks ago, I said I was going to be doing a bi-weekly (or so) post featuring something I found at my farmer's market. Well, the ground is still thawing around here, so there is still not much fresh produce to choose from. Still plenty of apples, potatoes & onions hanging around. There is also one booth at which I know the farmer has greenhouses, and this booth is starting to show some bounty. I saw broccoli & even a couple of herbs this week at this booth. But, what I really wanted to focus on this week is a booth that sells Sea Salt! And of course, sea salt is not locally harvested (ah...dreaming of Italy, France, Hawaii...), but it is sold locally and it is wonderful! This booth is run by Charmane Skillen, it is aptly named S.A.L.T., and it is located in my local (South Bend) farmer's market...and, it is a foodie's dream! So many salts to choose from! I have such a hard time choosing, so lately I've begun to just purchase one kind each time I'm there...my most recent purchase was Espresso Bravo Sea Salt. This is one of the "fusion" sea salts (sea salt + espresso, duh). My new favorite dessert is a scoop or two of chocolate ice cream with Espresso Bravo Sea Salt sprinkled over it. It is to die for! Funny, because I've never really been a fan of chocolate ice cream. Charmane suggested I try it this way, and boy am I glad I did. I've always thought chocolate ice cream was a bit, I don't know..flat & boring tasting? Strange because I love chocolate, but I'll be adding it to my cart on a regular basis now. Imagine creamy chocolate ice cream with a salty, crunch and burst of espresso...O M G! S.A.L.T. carries endless options...French Grey, Red Hawaiian, Indian Black, Aguni (Japanese), Trapani (Sicilian), Flor Blanca (Mexican), Bolivian Rose, Cyprus Black Lava, New Zealand Natural....all in different textures (coarse, flake, fine, chunks, bricks). Those are just the "regular" salts. Now think fusion...Aged Balsamic, Black Truffle, Chile Verde, Espresso Brava, Habanero Heat, Lemon Twist, Lime Fresco, Matcha, Roasted Garlic, Smoked Serrano, Soy, Spicy Curry, Sun Ripened Tomato, Szechuan Pepper, Thai Ginger, Vanilla Bean, Vintage Merlot, Wild Porcini Mushroom...seriously, how does a girl(ichef) decide?!? I haven't tried all of them yet, but Charmane will give you a taste of any you'd like to try! Vintage Merlot is amazing on a steak or on some onions & mushrooms. They are also sold in "sampler-sets"...one of which I gave a girlfriend of mine at her Bridal Shower... along with a couple of pinch bowls (which S.A.L.T. also sells). Charmane is opening a booth at the Chesterton (IN) farmer's market soon also (if you're in the Chicago-land area) PLUS she sells them online. Please check out her website and try some of these AMAZING Sea Salts. Check out the vanilla and teriyaki while you're there............see the gorgeous purple flecks of Vintage Merlot Sea Salt?!
Alright then, I'm off to get a bowl of ice cream... My Very First Giveaway! Okay, now that you are super excited about Sea Salt and want to try each and every kind, I want you to head on over to Charmane's website again....and PICK THE ONE, yup...just one, that you want to try the most. Notice that there are 2 pages of salts on her site. One page with "regular" sea salts and one with "fusion" sea salts. After you've decided, come back and leave me a comment with your choice & maybe "why" you want to try that kind in particular. Charmane is going to donate one bag of Winner's Choice of sea salt + she's going to throw in one pinch bowl!!! I'm so psyched, I wish I could enter! Please choose a "loose" variety of salt...coarse, flake, fine...not a chunk (or any vinegar or vanilla). You will have until 11:59 PM (eastern time U.S.) on Saturday April 4th to enter. I will post the winner the following day (or so). If you win, I'll just need you to send me an email with your shipping info. GOOD LUCK!