12 July 2011

The Salty Don

This is not the biggest, boldest, or most expensive item in my kitchen's array, but I crank through a lot of this seasoning: Tuscan Smoke from The Salty Don. They are based in Ottawa, Canada.

I'm on perhaps my fourth tin of Tuscan Smoke, a salt blend of smoked sea salt, fennel, rosemary, thyme, basil, and parsley. It sells for about $7 and while that may seem expensive for salt, it's really my go-to spice for a pan of vegetables.

I try to keep to the idea of plate-portions. That is, 1/4 of the plate is protein, 1/4 of the plate is starch, and 1/2 of the plate is vegetables. I've learned that my metabolism really converts starch into fat very quickly, so I try to maximize the veggies on the plate.

Remember I'm cooking just for two, so I'll dice half of a yellow onion and toss it into a pan with some olive oil. Normally I'd just add salt here to begin breaking down the cell walls of the onion, but now I usually toss in a fat pinch of Tuscan Smoke. If I have an bell pepper, that goes in next, and sometimes I'll finish with a diced zucchini near the end.

The spice is light enough that it doesn't overpower rest of the plate, but it keeps the vegetables from being too ordinary. Of course, I don't use it EVERY meal. Any palate will tire of a flavor if hit with it too often.

I've also tried their Smoked Garlic Pepper and the Smoked Sea Salt, but only one of each so far. Clearly, the Tuscan Smoke is my favorite.

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