I just got a package of new Japanese salts and one sugar from Chris Cosentino of San Francisco’s Incanto, whose wife, Tatiana, spotted them when the two checked out the San Francisco Fancy Food Show this month. The Japan Salt Corporation would love to import them to the States if they can find a distributor. Chris and his pal Ravi Kapur of Boulevard are doing what they can to help, so that they can start cooking with them.
° Hokkaido salt
Japanese regional sea salts, anyone? Along with this crunchy, assertive sea salt from Hokkaido, Chris says the company also has salts from other Japanese port towns like Okinawa, each with their own distinctive textures, grain sizes and flavors.
° Cherry blossom salt
An extraordinary pale pink color, with a very gentle saltiness, for a salt. From the limited conversation Chris was able to muster with the importers, the low-sodium grains are used to dehydrate the blossoms, which give them their color.
°Cane sugar powder
Similar to brown sugar but with a much richer flavor and a surprising creaminess from its very fine grains, “it’s [extremely] mind-blowing,” Chris says, using a different word not for publication. “It has this rich, deep complex flavor, almost like bourbon. It’s like they’ve aged it in an oak barrel for 10 years. I can’t wait to marinate pork belly in it, or use it to finish brûlées.”