Updated: Oct 11
Somehow this line from Eric in “Sex Education” (gone viral during this pandemic) seemed like the perfect title for this little post on, yes you've guessed it, SALT PIGS!!! Read on to find out why I thought that title was appropriate.
(By the way if you haven’t watched Sex Education it's a MUST!)
Let’s face it, much like pigs, salt pigs generally are not the most pleasant things to look at, right? Well my dear flock, let me try to change your mind on the matter!
In the days of life-threatening germs like COVID you might think it inappropriate to still touch salt with your own bare hands, well here I come chanting that lockdown song "Wash Your Hands..."! And all will be fine!
Plus as a trained chef myself (this may come as a surprise, please place your comments on that in the box at the bottom!) I am a great believer in the power of the pinch, nothing worse than pouring salt from one of those plastic salt bottle with adjustable opener, which suddenly pours about twice the amount you were expecting and that is IT! Dinner is now an over-salted mess!
There is nothing better than judging your salt dosage with your own fingertips.
I am a salt pig convert! And hopefully by the end of this post you will be too?
After a short visit to the enchanting Île de Ré on the French West coast back in the summer, walking around the salt marshes and witnessing all the various processes to harvest salt in an authentic ancestral manner, we were left with a renewed passion for beautiful untreated salt.
Table salt is often dirt cheap because it has been hugely processed, and deprived from any natural goodness, sometimes even bleached!
Good quality sea salt retains all the good minerals beneficial for our bodies like potassium, calcium and magnesium.
"we were left with a renewed passion for beautiful salt"
Enough facts! Now onto my "TOP 4" picks
for gorgeous handmade salt pig!!!
1. MELISA DORA
First up is this absolute gem courtesy of London-based Melisa Dora, the design has been well studied, a purified simple shape in Melisa’s signature modern and minimal style.
The flat base makes it super sturdy. It comes in two different glaze options mat black or glossy white along with natural speckled clay.
Turns out they can also be used as mini planters to host your succulents and cacti collection.
Seeing that she has a lovely promotion on seconds at the moment you could even grab yourselves a set of two or 3? (click images to view site)
2. PENNY SPOONER
A very cute collection from Hampshire-based Penny Spooner, a snowball shape, and here she cleverly glazed the inside in a colourful hue giving a discreet pop of colour for your countertops.
each design comes with its very own handmade little dotted spoon.
The little dots seem to be a running theme in her collection (click image to view more!)
DID YOU KNOW?
Salt pigs are called so because in old Scottish dialect, people referred to nearly any earthenware pot as a “pig”
This super modern shape comes from Brighton-based Tom Butcher, I love the minimal style and quirky design looking like a pipe elbow. Yet a rather practical-looking piece, and the slightly textured glaze finish would fit in any interiors, from quirky warehouse apartment to country cottage.
Note: The rest of his collection looks just a delectable with some super sleek carafes, stackable beakers and even some unusual canapé plates (click image to view site).
RELI'S TOP CHOICE!
4. FINCH & CRANE
My absolute "COUP DE COEUR" this week is this very gracious creation by Finch & Crane, designed by owner Liesel and handmade in Stroke On Trent, a very pleasing bulbous shape with a sublime ripple effect and the most tactile finish (I've felt it, it's sublime). It has been cleverly shaped so that it can sit forward in the classic salt pig style, BUT it can also sit upright to be used as a bowl vase, perfectly water-tight as it is glazed on the inside. Liesel tells me it can also be used for eggs, and garlic due its large size.
This piece is the first in their homeware range, making it very promising for things to come!
Click image to view the Finch & Crane site
USE DIFFERENT SALTS FOR DIFFERENT THINGS!
Use gorgeous natural untreated salts like Cornish sea salt, Maldon salt or any type of French "fleur de sel" from Ile de Ré or Camargues to season anything to eat raw or anything cooked that will not bathe in cooking juices, so anything pan-fried, simple roasts, grilled meat/fish, etc. It makes everything tastier!
Use coarse salt to season cooking water, as you need large quantities, no point wasting your good quality salt for that.
Linen in opening shot: Wilbur & Wolf