There is enough swoonable romance surrounding Nordur salt to sell it on its story alone: Nordur salt has been harvested from the same shallow Icelandic waters of Breiðafjörður bay by the same Danish salt-harvesting methods for 260 years.
The Nordur guys – an incredibly photogenic bunch of blond brawny Icelanders – are committed to sustainable production, and use from start to finish only the region’s natural geothermal energy: to heat the seawater, and then again to heat the open-air pans and to dry the salt. The first heating process is done in a tank under sub-atmospheric pressures. The seawater thus boils at a lower temperature without scorching. The Nordur people claim this best preserves the Breiðafjörður water’s estimable trace minerals.
The resulting pans of salt are hand-raked and harvested. The azure-tangerine packaging has won design awards.
This is the Veuve Cliquot of salts. It has a feathery lightness, a sweet saltiness akin to English Maldon Salt, which is similarly produced with seawater and raked by hand, but Nordur has more of all those things – more feathery flakes, like the lightest, prettiest snowflakes. More minerality. If salt can taste sweet, Nordur does. Even my husband, unaware of which sodium brand filled our salt cellar, recently seasoned a piece of chicken, took a bite, and commented, “wow! – even this salt is good!”
A bowl of Nordur on the counter called for me to recreate one of our dessert standards: vanilla ice cream served with olive oil and sea salt. First discovered in a Jamie Oliver cookbook, this combination is sublime: two editions of creamy – the ice cream and olive oil – laced with the sparkling minerality of high quality sea salt. Simply serve the ice cream in bowls, pour about a tablespoon of fruity olive oil over each serving, then sprinkle with sea salt. Before you arch that eyebrow, try it.
Nordur makes a wonderful gift; don’t even wrap it, the box is so pretty. Imported by Prestige Global Inc. who found the salt while combing the world for high quality, healthy products, Nordur can be found at Salt Traders in Ipswich, MA, and can be easily purchased from their website.