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Travelers’ Treasures / Amabito no Moshio (Salt made from seawater and seaweed)

Since ancient times, salt production has been carried out in the salt fields of the Setouchi region, an area blessed with a warm climate. Moshio (“seaweed salt” created from seawater and seaweed) is produced by cooking down and concentrating the seawater of the Seto Inland Sea with its fine flavor, together with a type of seaweed called Sargassum fulvellum.

Modern production of moshio salt started after some ancient salt-making vessels dating back to the Kofun Period (ca 300-ca 710) were discovered in the area in 1984 that led to new research into ancient moshio salt production. The word moshio appears in a waka poem recorded in the eighth century Manyoshu, the oldest-surviving collection of poetry in Japanese history. The first syllable of this word, mo, refers to the Japanese name for Sargassum fulvellum seaweed; this provided a hint that led, ultimately, to the use of Sargassum fulvellum in the production of moshio salt.

Modern-day production of moshio salt began as part of a desire to bring the wisdom of Japan’s ancient people and the delicious flavors of a vanished age into the modern world. With its subtle brownish tinge, moshio salt has a less intensely salty flavor than regular salt, and a subtle, mellow feel on the palate. Acclaimed by chefs who care about every last detail of their dishes, this salt has a delicious flavor unlike any other.

Price: ¥432 for 100 grams (when bought directly from maker)

Manufacturer: Kamagari Bussan Co. in Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture

(http://www.moshio.co.jp/)

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