HERE’S A VERY cool product that most wouldn’t immediately think worthy of highlighting on its own. After all, it’s basically just salt. Ah, but bear with me because this is by no means just a salt – it’s a delicious addition to just about every savory meal I’ve had in the last five days.
I was strolling around Tauranga’s Gourmet Night Market last Friday, and as usual, I had food on my mind, specifically the veggie steamed dumplings that weren’t quite ready yet. So I decided to see what the other stalls were selling. One that looked interesting had a huge pile of a brown grainy substance in the middle of the table. This substance turned out to be salt, or at least a smoked salt, and all it took was a single taste before I was more or less thrusting my money at the stall holder.
The Original Smoke and Spice Company makes roasted garlic and two seasonings – an original smoked seasoning and a lemon zinger seasoning. The one I tried was the original, which according to the company’s website is made as follows: “Marlborough sea salt is smoked by hand, and then tumble roasted with garlic, shallots, coriander and the mighty chilli. The result is one of the finest seasonings in the world. Suitable for both shakers and grinders, our sensational smoked seasoning will enhance all foods, elevating them to the heights of culinary nirvana.” Frankly, they’re not far off the mark with that claim.
I bought one of the combo packs, which came with three packets of the original smoked seasoning, one of the lemon zinger, a glass shaker and a bulb of roasted garlic. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I’ve added the original flavour to everything I’ve eaten at home since Friday, bar smoothies and breakfast cereal. It’s delicious with a smooth garlic taste and just a hint of chili that seems to elevate everything, just as the company claims. It’s also quite strong, so I’m not adding much, which means that I’ve barely made any impact on the shaker’s contents.
The lemon zinger is just as good – strong, chili-free yet just as dangerously addictive. Oh, and I’ve been chopping the roasted garlic as is into salads of all types – combined with Waiheke Island’s Herb Spread (reviewed here), it’s amazing, far less harsh that plain raw garlic but with a subtle flavour that makes the food taste as if it was put together by someone who knows what they’re doing.
At twenty bucks for the pack, this lot will be adding enjoyment to a huge number of meals for months to come, which makes it one of my best culinary buys in ages! ASHLEY KRAMER
A number of packs are available on the company’s site: