Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sag Harbor Farmers Market

With two teenagers at home, it's hard to break away on Saturdays mornings to the Sag Harbor Farmers Market. This past weekend, Camille and I drove the 25 minutes it takes to get there from Southampton and just in time to grab a few items before closing. I got to see a few old friends, and meet a new vendor, in particular the brand spankin' new and impressive artisanal purveyor, Amagansett Sea Salt Co..

Amagansett Sea Salt Co. Table Salt

My only disappointment is that I missed author Silvia Lehrer, of Dan's Papers,  who was signing copies of her excellent new book Savoring the Hamptons: Discovering the Food and Wine of Long Island's East End. Silvia attended a food policy workshop I curated at the International Association of Culinary Professionals so I was particularly disappointed not to see her (I plan to review her book shortly on Lighthearted Locavore). 

I bought English-style peas from Quail Hill (which were out of this world),  vinegar at A Taste of the North Fork, lavender fudge handmade by Donna at Fat Ass Fudge, and settled into a conversation with Steven Judelson of Amagansett Sea Salt Co.

Steven Judelson Serving a Customer a Taste of Cucumber and Amagansett Sea Salt
Expecting Judelson to tell me that that he buys his salt from the best purveyors around the world, instead he blew me away with a description of how he and his wife of nearly 20 years, Natalie, are making salt from the Atlantic Ocean's seawater that washes our Long Island shores every day!!!! They get there salt from my favorite each end beach,  Atlantic Avenue Beach, which is located in, of course, Amagansett. Apparently Judelson has been summering near Atlantic Beach for most of his life.  

Using a process that sounds anything but easy, the Judelson's harvesting the seawater 100 gallons at a time. With the help of the sun and some evaporation tents, they are turning the water into all natural and solar dried sea salt crystals. So far the Amagansett Sea Salt Co is offering three flavors,  table sea salt and two salt blends or "finishing salts" -- one is mixed with lemon zest, and named the "Montauk Blend", which would be great on fish or veggies, and the other, the "East Hampton Blend" is mixed with Herbs de Provence and would pair well with just about anything, especially chicken, salad, and steak. 

In addition to being at the Sag Harbor Farmers Market every week, where you can taste the salt on bread or with a piece of sliced cucumber, Judelson said they'll be at the East Hampton Market on Fridays. So far Steven and Natalie have done only seven farmers market events, all this spring.  I can see pairing up the sea salt with David Falkowski's Open Minded Organics and making a shitake mushroom salt or some other fabulous mushroomy crystal, "The Bridehampton Blend", perhaps? This  product line is going to be a winner. Good luck, y'all.
Thank goodness, there were some peas left...
My "Regular" Vendors at Sag Harbor:

Food Purveyors and Farmers I Have Yet To Try
  • A Sisters Food Company - owned by the daughters of Chef Colin Ambrose of Estia Fame
  • Horman’s Best Pickles - just wish I liked pickles -- these look good
  • Sagaponack Potato Company, NY - love these chips by locavore Marilee Foster (my waist doesn't though)
  • Liberty Farms Nursey
  • Regina’s Farmstand
  • La Poeme
Sag Harbor Farmers Market
Marine Park, Bay Street, Sag Harbor 
Saturdays, 9 am to 1 pm

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