We are happy to share a recent conversation we had with Inge Houghton, a Salt Harvester that's been with us since the early days. She's a great person who puts a lot of care and effort in her art of crafting our sea salt.
How long have you been a Harvester and how did you start?
I found out about Duxbury Saltworks (now SalterieOne) through a friend of mine in early 2019. Lily, the founder, had just officially launched her business and my friend had mentioned that she was looking for additional help. Lily and I were neighbors at the time, but I hadn't realized she had been making sea salt and starting to develop a business. I got in touch with her and we met for a tour and to discuss her plans. I loved what she had already put into practice and was excited to jump right in.
How would you describe your salt harvesting style?
Harvesting sea salt naturally is not as straightforward as one might think. There are many variables in the process that can change the texture and consistency and affect the end result. Being aware of those variables and adapting to changes are crucial. The weather (both outside and inside temperature and humidity), what time of year the water is collected from the bay and the amount of salt that is being harvested at any given time are just a few of the factors. It's a delicate process between science and art and helping to control and adapt to the environment as much as possible, helps to create the best flavor, texture and quality that our sea salt is known for. Additionally, having patience and attentiveness is very important. If any step in the process is rushed, the outcome will be compromised.
What is your favorite step in the salt harvesting process?
Watching the salt water transform into amazing shiny, flaky crystals and cooking with it daily is the most fun and rewarding part of the process.
What is your favorite blend and favorite way to use it?
Favorite blend!? That's a tough one! If I had to choose just one, it would be our newest in the Compass Collection, East. I love heat and believe the subtleties of the herbs and spices work together so well. I find that I can use it in almost anything, from egg dishes in the morning to almost all meat and vegetable dishes, summer salads, stir frys, and seafood. I find myself geting hooked on one blend for a while before switching to another. Before East, I was using South on almost everything.
What is your favorite movie/book/hobby?
I really enjoy food and cooking. I find it incredibly creative and the learning curve is never-ending and the possibilities of food combinations are infinite. The most fun about creating dishes is not following a recipe, but improvising with what's on hand. what's coming out of the garden or what foods are in season, what time of year, etc... I'm also obsessed with plants and flowers and always take on more in the garden that I can handle. My family and I enjoy skiing in the winter and hiking/backpacking/camping in the warmer months.
Tell us something fun about yourself that the team doesn’t necessarily know.
One goal of mine is to climb all forty-eight 4,000 foot mountains in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. By now, I thought I would have achieved it, but life and proximity to the Whites keep getting in the way. :) So far, I have about 34 of the 48 checked off, some of my favorites more than once. After that, I would love to hike the Appalachian Trail or the Pacific Crest Trail one of these years, hopefully sooner than later.
What fictional place would you like to visit?
Hogwarts. I think it would be a blast walking around amongst all the magic happening, exploring the castle, trying out a game of Quidditch, eating dinner in the Great Hall, seeing, in person, some of my favorite characters and shopping in Diagon Alley.