Thursday, September 2, 2010

Herbamare- an excellent seasoning salt

I know, I know. I'm breaking one of my own Italian cooking commandments. The third commandment enjoined us to eschew all onion and garlic salts.

Well, this is the proverbial exception that proves the rule. It is basically an onion-garlic-celery sea salt, with other herbs thrown in, by means of their special process. All of it organic.

No, it's not made in Italy, it's made in France. But I first encountered it in 1987 in the Valpolicella region of Italy, in a beautiful ancient villa I was staying in. The elderly and health-conscious owners always had this at their table. Another tip from them I've never forgotten, which was also always at their table: Lugana di Sirmione wine.

It's not cheap. The small container at 4.4 oz. (125 grams) is seven dollars at Whole Foods. But well worth it, as it makes the plainest and cheapest veggies, grains and legumes tasty. They also have a spicier version called Trocomare, which I haven't tried, but intend to.