Ad Spot

CULINARY THRILL SEEKING — Salt, Vanilla, Tea, Coffee

Basic pantry stock gets elevated with these picks. Each has a proud backstory that’s worth looking up.

 

Saltverk

Salt of the earth? As rarely as I use it, I can go for the good stuff.

Saltverk is the good, good stuff, hand-harvested from Iceland. Did you know that was a thing?

The umami comes from pristine seawater of Iceland’s remote Westfjords. Saltverks revived a 17th-century process powered by geothermal energy, leaving zero carbon footprint. So I did Google saltverk.com and those people are sure having fun leaving zero carbon footprints.

Flaky Sea Salt is one of the sustainable varieties and it just tastes pure. Lava Salt is a sparkly black and Birch Smoked Salt is my favorite of those I tried. There’s a body in it and the pleasure of knowing where your food came from.

If my eye catches the jar, I’ve been known to stop and take a little transporting whiff of the stuff. I also looked up images of the area and the beauty is breathtaking. I have a great sense of pleasure imagining all this when I pinch a bit of salt to sprinkle over a simple meal.

 

Native Vanilla

I’m sure your baking deserves ethically sourced, naturally grown Native Vanilla in extract or powder form. Or mixed with sugar.

Into DIY? Order some whole beans, submerge them in vodka or rum, and check in on those pods chilling in a beautiful glass jar. They’ll become homemade elixir over time.

Micro-farmers in New Guinea are sorting through premium beans for this company and a little tour at nativevanilla.com will help bakers understand the wonder of how these pods get from nature to our kitchens. Try a tiny spoonful of that dark, crystallized sugar with specks of bean. It’s aromatic and heavenly.

Let me know your top uses for vanilla in Southeast Texas. I might say bread pudding gets my vote. I’ve got big plans for the “pet” jar aging in my pantry.

 

Tea Drunk

Tea Drunk is in New Jersey and of course, online.

You can stay home with a red packet of Qui Hong #3, because they’ve already “done” the elevated provinces of China to bring you the best of loose teas. A little brown paper packet of Bai Mu Dan (or Fu Ding, or white peony, silver needle) is at my side with hints of sun-soaked cotton, mead and herbaceous. I’m watching the leaves unfold in a clear vessel like a little live-action ballet.

This is one more site that makes a product come alive: tea-drunk.com. It helps a body understand how the many names for teas came about and shares images of collection and presentation. Some folks already “get” tea others “oolong” to. In these quiet times of winter, accept this opportunity to slow down and get Tea Drunk.

                       

Biodynamic Coffee

Great coffee comes from healthy soil” is a trademarked thought on the Biodynamic Coffee by Holistic Roasters.

Just because they proudly show you a handful of soil on their website, don’t think they don’t use state-of-the art farming and machinery to bring you a back-to-basics experience. The French Roast note asks why anyone would mess with a classic, so you get smoky, bitter chocolate and “comforting” notes in whole beans that come in a package that goes with that “brown paper packages tied up in string” favorite things theme that’s hot this season.

Rise & Shine is called balanced, bold and straight to the point. Get yours from biodynamic.coffee, a site that informed me that we’re hard-wired through DNA to assess nutritional value through flavor. So that’s why it’s good. The soil helped make it so.

 

Darragh Doiron is a Port Arthur area foodie getting her holiday vibe. Reach her at darraghcastillo@icloud.com

BREAKING NEWS

Port Arthur ISD, NISD announce mask guidelines

Beaumont

Whata Tip — Police credit Crime Stoppers call after 2 arrested for drive-thru beating

Local

UPDATE: Motorist killed when dump truck crashes into Honda; infant child appears OK

Local

Game room, washateria robbed: 2 indicted in separate Port Arthur investigations

Local

SENIOR STARTUP: Ballot item seeks funding to upgrade PA Recreation & Senior Center

Local

Port Arthur killing, home burning leads to weapons indictment in ongoing investigation

High School Sports

Nederland athletes, familiarity create slick fielding defense

College/Pro Sports

Memorial grad adds to conference accolades

Local

PHOTOS — There is so much to find & enjoy at Baby + Birch

Local

Lamar State College Port Arthur keeping masks, social distancing

Local

Those calls you’ve been receiving about Social Security number suspension are a SCAM

Check this Out

Lamar University leaders talk upcoming Port Arthur virtual parks town hall: “We are very excited”

Local

PHOTOS — PAPD cereal drive satisfies day’s most important meal

Columns

MARY MEAUX — Striving to bridge news gap; virtual town hall set for March 10

Local

Nederland Police Department arrests, responses: Feb. 22-28

Groves

Groves Police Department arrests, responses: Feb. 24-March 2

Check this Out

What do you think? Port Arthur, Mid-County residents express mixed feelings to lessened COVID rules

Local

Texas Education Agency, CHRISTUS Health respond to governor’s rescinded mask order

Local

PARKS VOTE NEARS: Port Arthur leaders talk potential; virtual town hall planned

Local

Port Arthur Police Officers Association savors “huge” response to cereal drive

Beaumont

Mid County, Port Arthur represented in Dancing with the Stars event

Local

Book Project provides new stories for Port Neches Elementary 4th graders

Groves

Tough schedule challenges Indians ahead of district grind

Local

UPDATE: School districts in Port Arthur, Mid-County react to governor’s mask update