Hawaii's Unique Sea Salts

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With the Pacific Ocean surrounding the Hawaiian Islands and the warm, sunny climate, it is not surprising that sea salt was an important part of Native Hawaiian life. Made by using the sun to evaporate sea water, alaea or traditional Hawaiian sea salt was used not only to season, preserve, cure, and flavor food, but also in healing rituals and in ceremonies to cleanse, bless, and purify canoes, homes, and foods. The distinctive reddish color of the salt comes from the addition of natural mineral called 'alaea – a volcanic, red clay that enriches the salt with iron oxide. With medium sized grains, alaea has a flavor that is mellower and earthier than traditional table salt. Hawaiian sea salt is an essential ingredient in favorite island foods like kalua pig, beef jerky, and poke. Check out this great recipe for Seared Ahi Poke from our good friends at Foodland.com, and see how the great accent of alaea adds to the flavor of the dish!

And don’t be afraid to substitute Hawaiian sea salt for traditional table salt in some of your favorite meat and seafood dishes. Today Hawaiian sea salt is harvested and packaged by a variety of companies. Each adds its own twist to the product – whether through the use of herbs and spices, the inclusion of lava grains or organic practices. My favorites can be found in our stores or at our Online Shop so you can be sure to always have some in your pantry back home!

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