Ben Jacobsen and his team at Jacobsen Salt Co. in Portland, Oregon are one of the few companies in the United States that hand-harvest salt from seawater.
“Anybody can make salt, it’s of course very easy,” says Jacobsen. “But it’s very difficult to make great salt consistently, especially from a natural resource such as seawater.”
Their process starts in Netarts Bay on the Oregon Coast, which they chose because of its unusually high salinity.
“I think I ended up getting like two or three gallons from 27 different spots from all the way in Neah Bay in Washington State to Gold Beach in Oregon and made salt from all of those and literally just tried them side by side,” says Jacobsen. “Netarts Bay was far and away the best.”
The bay is also home to tens of millions of oysters that help keep the almost seven-mile-long stretch of water clean.
“Individual oysters can filter about 20 gallons of seawater a day,” says Jacobsen. “It’s been clean for an immense amount of time, and we hope to keep it that way forever.”
Watch the full video to see how Jacobsen and his team produce different types of salt from the bay, including pure flake salt, finishing salt, and pure kosher salt.