Slow, traditional, mountain salt.
A traditional, boutique salt producer based in the hills on the edge of the Basque Country, Sal de Anana was an early exponent of the slow food movement in Spain.
They source their salt from deep mineral springs tapped into the hillsides, diverting a stream through a huge series of evaporating pools along the slopes and gradually increasing the salinity of the spring water. Once the pans are fully evaporated, the salt is graded by flake size and delicacy.
It’s a slow, painstaking process, but the results are quite remarkable. The lightest, most windswept pans are gently skimmed to produce the ultra thin Flor de Sal, or flower salt.
Basque refers more to a political, cultural and linguistic population than a distinct landscape, but when we talk about the Basque Country, we’re primarily thinking of the fertile land that runs from the Sierra Cantabria to the Bay of Biscay on the northern coast of Spain, right up to the French border.
This is a characteristically Atlantic area, home to some of the best seafood and seafood restaurants in Spain. There are also amazing, if less obvious, things to be found in the mountains, where traditional Asador restaurants have been perfecting the combination of dry aged meat and charcoal for centuries.
It’s impossible to say which part of Spain has the best local cuisine or local ingredients, but if a single restaurant stands out for a perfect blend of the two, for us it would be Asador Etxebarri.