Over the past decade, Portland’s food scene has lead the movement of sourcing local ingredients and supporting local businesses, but the best chefs became used to buying gourmet salts from across the pond because a local option didn’t exist.
Since Ben Jacobsen began processing sea salt from Oregon seawater at Portland’s KitchenCru last year, his delicately-flaked Jacobsen Salt Co. salt has appeared in dozens of professional kitchens around town, topping salads, steaks, soups, and seasonal vegetables. Each batch is carefully produced over the course of 40 hours, and the result is simply unbeatable. Chefs and home cooks alike are hooked on Jacobsen’s products, but schlepping barrels of sea water from the coast to Portland isn’t the most efficient way to keep up with growing demand.
With the help of a Kickstarter campaign launched this week, Jacobsen hopes to raise $25,000 to open Oregon’s first salt harvesting facility on the Oregon coast, increasing the availability of local sea salt, cutting down on transport costs, and creating jobs where they’re sorely needed.
Contributors to the Kickstarter fundraiser will receive a pocket-sized tin on sea salt, Jacobsen Salt swag, and limited edition flavored salts—including lemon zest, vanilla bean, and a special collaboration with Grochau Cellers. These wine barrel-aged salts were cured for several months in pinot noir and pinot blanc barrels, infusing the flakes with delicate colors, aromas, and flavors that you just won’t find anywhere else. Jacobsen’s wine salts are only available through the Kickstarter campaign. Other thank-you prizes include a special lunch from Jason French of Ned Ludd, and a day of salt making at the new salt facility once the project is completed.
Want to get your hands on some local salt for your kitchen? Donate to the cause today or head to these local retailers: Barbur World Food, Elephants Deli, Food Front Co-Op, Foster & Dobb’s, Made in Oregon, New Season’s Markets, Pastaworks, Red Ridge Farms, Salt & Straw, The Meadow, and The Woodsman Market.