EAT } New Regional Salts

It's no secret I'm a salt addict. (I did name my shop after the world's most important seasoning, after all.) So I'm always on the hunt for great salts to try in the kitchen.

And thanks to some skilled US artisans, high quality finishing salt is getting easier to source not so far from home.

A few months ago, Woodberry Kitchen's Spike Gjerde told me about an incredible hand-harvested salt from West Virginia he'd been using at the restaurant. We just received our first shipment at Salt & Sundry of J.Q. Dickinson salts, made by drawing brine from an ancient ocean trapped below the Appalachian mountains. The family behind the beautiful white crystals started producing salt in the early 1800s. The latest generation is committed to natural and environmentally friendly practices to create their small-batch finishing salts.

I'm also excited to add Bulls Bay Saltworks to Salt & Sundry's pantry — another gorgeous hand-harvested salt coming out of Charleston, SC. Their sea salt and smoked salt come in their own handy grinders, and the Carolina flake boasts generously sized crystals, perfect for pinching over food.

These East Coast salts make such a great host gift. When the fabulous Weekly Greens had me over for dinner and served up an insanely good pasta with mushrooms, walnuts and pesto, a jar J.Q. Dickinson salt looked pretty as a picture on the table and added the perfect finishing touch: