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Salt-of-the-Earth Holiday Gifts For Cooks

by Lorraine Thompson on December 22, 2010

Need a gift for the foodie who has everything? Wander over to The Meadow. Featured in the New York Times, The Meadow sells chocolate from around the world, an extensive line of artisanal bitters and over a hundred different kinds of salt.

I recently spent an enthralled half hour in The Meadow’s shop on Hudson Street in New York City. Part Victorian greenhouse, part alchemy shop, part candy stand, The Meadow is filled with delectable items. A long display table and wall shelves—made of 100 year-old salvaged hemlock planks—hold fragrant flora and edibles: Flowers, mosses, tiny salt cellars, row upon row of chocolate bars and hundreds of apothecary jars filled with salt of every color, grain and provenance imaginable.

Your eye is immediately drawn to The Meadow’s grotto-like store window, stacked round with what look slabs of luminous, pink quartz. But they’re not. The rosy, translucent chunks are actually Himalayan salt, quarried and cut in Tibet.

Beautiful as they are, the Himalayan salt blocks are also practical: You can serve—and cook!—food on the slabs.

Among my favorite finds from The Meadow:

  • Rare bitters—including aromatics of orange, rhubarb, burdock and blackstrap molasses—that promise to turn my Classic Champagne Cocktail into another animal altogether.
  • A silver sea urchin salt cellar that would feel at home on Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s dinner table—or yours.
  • Salted: A Manifesto on the World’s Most Essential Mineral with Recipes, the 320-page salt Bible written by Mark Bitterman who, with wife Jennifer Turner Bitterman, owns The Meadow.
  • Pralus Mini Pyramide des 10 Tropiques: 10 Dark chocolates from around the world for only $10—great stocking stuffer!

Can’t make it in to The Meadow’s store in New York or Portland, Oregon? Take it with a grain of salt and visit The Meadow online.

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Jessica December 22, 2010 at 3:54 pm

I recently discovered Himalayan pink salt and LOVE it! I’m hoping for a salt plate from Sustainable Sourcing for Christmas. Would be great for entertaining at our New Years party!

Lorraine Thompson December 22, 2010 at 4:18 pm

@Jessica: My daughter bought the Himalayan salt slab as a gift for someone who will remain unnamed so as not to spoil the Christmas surprise. The salt slabs are incredibly beautiful and will make a fabulous food presentation. Keeping fingers crossed that you’ll find it under the Xmas tree!

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