We’ve been cooking up something brand new in Marshall—meet Hog Island Saltworks.
Our small-batch, wood-fired and hand-finished salt is airy, delicate, and packed with essential minerals. Sustainably harvested using the power of wind and sun, our mineral-rich finishing salt is as West Marin as it gets.
How it Started.
First came the oysters. But for Hog Island Oyster Co. founder, John Finger, the idea of harvesting salt was always in the back of his mind. Besides, if the waters of Tomales Bay can make such great-tasting oysters, chances are the salt would taste pretty fantastic, too.
Enter: Jeff Warrin, a local West Marin artist and salt enthusiast. His experiments with traditional salt-making practices brought John and Jeff together to create Saltworks, with Tomales Bay providing the perfect harvest conditions: plenty of wind and sunshine, clean water from the Pacific Ocean, and an ideal bayside location.
Harvesting salt the Hog Island way is hands-on from start to finish. We begin by feeding the mineral-rich water of Tomales Bay into a large evaporation tower lined with “salt sails,” made from the same material we use to grow our oysters. Water drips down the sails and recirculates back to the top with the help of solar-powered pumps. Then, we let the wind and sun work their magic to evaporate the sea water into a high salinity brine.
Next, the saturated brine gets brought into the salt house, where Jeff gently heats it over a wood-fired brick oven. As the salt emerges from the brine, Jeff carefully extracts the harvest to give it a unique, fluffy texture and rich mineral content.
The Result: A Pure, Mineral-Rich Salt.
The secret to our salt’s great taste? It’s in the water. Just like our oysters, salt has merroir, or a sense of place. The distinct mineral makeup of Tomales Bay’s water gives our salt a high concentration of essential minerals, like magnesium, potassium, iodine and more. With a deep umami flavor profile that’s uniquely West Marin, Hog Island Saltworks adds the perfect finishing touch to any dish.