Dark chocolate, and salt and vinegar chips are my weakness – but not together. (Gail Simmons)
When I told you I had a toothache last week, I was understating things a little. Tooth issues can be nasty. So much so, that I don’t think we want to relive it. So we won’t.
What I will say is that when I was in the city having yet another dental appointment on Friday, LM and I happened upon Simon Johnson’s pop up at the MLC Centre. Apparently, its been there since October. Huh.
I love Simon Johnson’s.
For the uninitiated, the man himself (originally from across the ditch in New Zealand) is a serious food providore. He now has 8 Simon Johnson retail stores around the country – all stocking some of Australia’s best ranges of imported and home-grown quality foods, sourced from over 80 producers internationally. His Woollahra store has the most divine cheese room AND the well-trained crew he has on board offer you a complimentary coffee when you step into the store. And, it is great coffee!
So, since the pop up shop was there, I had to have a browse. Two reasons for this, really. It would have been rude not to. And, when you can’t find Christmas presents for anyone on your list, the rule is you can buy something for yourself. Well, that’s my rule, anyway.
Time for a small segue – I’m making a few Christmas presents this year. One of the homemade items in my repertoire is flavoured salt. I’m actually getting a little obsessed with the whole idea. Have you tried it? It’s so good! Salt is a natural preservative and holds flavour incredibly well. It will extract the moisture from whatever ingredients you choose to add to it – say fresh herbs, citrus, garlic – and preserve the flavour. Those favours are then imparted into whatever dish you add the flavoured salt to. Genius!
At dinner parties I sit below the salt now. There are a lot of interesting people there. (Donald T. Regan)
I started with garlic salt. As with all things, the better your ingredients, the better your end product. So, I roasted some lovely organic garlic before squishing the meat out of each wee clove and then mashed them all up and mixed them with some Himalayan sea salt, before dehydrating the resulting mixture in a very low oven…
This is what mine looked like…
Yep – it looks like plain, unadulterated Himalayan sea salt. BUT, it actually tastes fantastic – full of roasted garlic flavour. I have been adding it to all sorts of dishes with gay abandon and achieving great tasting results.
So, while I wasn’t wildly enthusiastic about my salt’s visual appeal, I was ok with that…
Until I saw this at Simon Johnson’s…
For just $7.50 you can get this beautiful looking flaked salt with lovely speckles of wild garlic mixed throughout. SO much prettier than mine. And, that’s not all.
Check out these flavours.
Clearly, the presentation of my flavoured salt needs some work. I had to pick up some Ortiz anchovies and some Aphrodite halloumi to console myself (so perhaps that will go some way to make up for my disappointment!)
If you’re a foodie visiting Sydney, pop Simon Johnson’s Woollahra store onto your list. You can find it at 55 Queen Street, Woollahra, NSW, 2025. It’s open 7 days and chock-full of lots of wee goodies.
And, if you’re in the city, William at the MLC pop up store was most helpful when we visited!