Salt, often called the “fifth element,” is absolutely necessary for life. Wars have been fought over it; national debts and income paid by taxes on it; wages paid with it–salary=(sal)arium=salt. We used to not pay much attention to salt, (except to stay away from it), but now there has been a salt revolution with salts from different origins. Corti Brothers first imported its special Japanese salt in 1996. It was from Oshima Island in Japan, an island about 65 square miles in size, 45 minutes by air off the Japanese coast from Tokyo, in the middle of pristine Pacific ocean waters.
It is this sea water which is concentrated by a constant spray sent through pipes that shower the water into collection troughs in the open air. It is re-pumped and showered until its salinity goes up enough to allow it to be evaporated into its crystalline form it is then pan evaporated using fire. Nothing is added; nothing is taken away except the bitter magnesium chloride, “bittern,” which is used to coagulate soy milk to make tofu.
Red Label Oshima Island salt is remarkable. It is salt to be used in salt cellars; to be used in finishing a dish, not for salting pasta cooking water. There is a certain “sweet savor” to it. Corti Brothers cannot take credit for the salt revolution taking place in the US, but we were the first to import Japan’s special Oshima Island salts. It is difficult to describe salt, but it is delicious.