Salty, Bitter, Flowery and Sweet

Congratulations to Amy Green of New Jersey, the winner of our giveaway! Amy wins a copy of Mark Bitterman’s James Beard award-winning book Salted! Thanks to all who entered, and be sure to keep reading—we have a few more fun giveaways planned for this summer!

While walking down the West Village’s Hudson Street one day last fall, a new shop caught our eye.

A formerly vacant space was once again full of life—bursting forth with brightly-colored flowers and tall shelves filled with, of all things, chocolate and salt. Once we actually entered The Meadow, we discovered that it was even better than we had initially thought!

The Meadow sells more than 100 (yes, a hundred!) varieties of salt, some of the most beautiful and unique flowers I’ve ever seen, an amazing variety of chocolates, and, in the back, an extensive collection of cocktail bitters. We were instantly in love.

The store, owned by Mark Bitterman and his wife, Jennifer, is the younger sibling to their Portland, Oregon, outpost that they founded in 2006. With its reclaimed wood shelves, vintage vases, and simple, but elegant displays, customers are invited to touch, taste, and simply enjoy everything within.

The salts range from the simple, like fleur de sel, to the unique and rare, such as maboroshi plum from Japan or lemon flake from Cyprus. And, yes, lemon flake salt does actually taste like lemons!

The chocolate and bitters selections are equally diverse, so if you are in the mood for some ramen noodle chocolate or Bittercube cherry bark vanilla bitters, you won’t leave empty-handed.

Mark traveled the world far and wide to discover all he could about the salt he carries—he is immensely knowledgeable about every product he sells, whether you are looking for regular table salt or how to perfectly season your steak tartare.

His travels and vast knowledge came together last year with the publication of his recent James Beard award-winning book, Salted: A Manifesto on the World’s Most Essential Mineral.

The book, a massive hard-covered volume, is an encyclopedia of salt, complete with recipes, beautiful photography (all photographed by Mark and his wife!), and tales from around the world.

It remains approachable to the home cook—learn just how salt can push your roasted chicken over the edge—without being dull or uninteresting.

Did you know that cucumbers are the perfect vehicle to taste salt with, or that Kala namak, an ancient Indian salt, was used in 300 BCE by Maharishi Charak, the father of Ayurvedic medicine?

Like I just told Ryan, the book has all the style and panache of Anthony Bourdain’s writing, but with beautiful seriousness to it, complemented by the recipes and lush photos.

Now that you’re clamoring for your own copy (as you should be), I bring you the good news: Ryan and I have a signed copy of Salted that we’re going to give away to one of our lucky readers. We’ve been so flattered by every comment, view, and click, that we thought we would share something that we love with you.

You can have up to two chances to win. For one entry, you can simply leave a comment below. If you really, really, want to win, you can enter a second time by following us on Twitter and retweeting our contest tweet.

The contest will be open until Sunday, June 5, 12 a.m. EST, at which time we will randomly choose a winner from both our comments and retweets. Make sure that you leave your e-mail in your comment or leave us some way to get in touch.

Enjoy, and good luck!

– Laura



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