Friday, January 30, 2009

The unbearable whiteness of being

I didn't know I was a White People until I read about White People and Sea Salt. I thought I was immune from all the organic, tree-hugging, cigarettes are bad but marijuana is good, che is cool and Obama is better silliness, but apparently, I am indeed a White People after all because I have sea salt.

Not only do I have sea salt, I have quested for even more sea salt. And not just sea salt. Fleur de sel. Pink salt. Black volcano salt. I am a salt snob.

Mind you, I cannot taste the difference between any of these salts and Morton's. (A lot of which comes from Aigues Mortes, which is one of the famous sea salt harvesting places, and I know this because I HAVE BEEN THERE, thus winning not only White People salt points but also White People traveling points, but I digress.)

It all started when Lenore and I went to this cool cooking school in France. Susan Jenny, one of the owners of the school, gave each of us a little box of fleur de sel when we left. I thought it was cool, but it wasn't until I got home and found out how expensive it was in the US that I really could appreciate the snob value of it.

Which was why I got upset when John took a pinch of this salt to eat all by itself. Which was why when I told my aunt about his eating the salt and my getting upset that she said, "But it was the good salt!" Which is why John, upon meeting said aunt and my mother, said, "It's not that the apple didn't fall far from the tree; it's that the tree carefully placed the apple exactly where it wanted it." And which is why John bought me an entire pound of Good Salt and why I now have enough salt to last the rest of my life.

Is there a point to this story? Yes, there is. Now you know that 1) I am a snob and 2) I have a bunch of Good Salt. Fact #1 overpowers fact #2; i.e., even though I have no need for it, I am driven by my snobbishness to seek even more Good Salt.

Which is why I dragged SH all over Hawaii and back looking for the Hawaiian Black Lava Salt

because the Pink Clay Salt
both photos from

wasn't cool enough on its own.

Alas, we never did find the Hawaiian Black Lava Salt, even though we looked in every grocery, gourmet and hotel store. Yes, this is my idea of a good time on a vacation. SH, not so much.

We finally resorted to asking. The head butcher at the grocery store where SH bought his breakfast poke (raw fish with gunk on it) told us he had only ever seen the Hawaiian Black Lava Salt in Los Angeles.

Which makes perfect sense, because the people in LA are the Ultimate White People. I can't beat them.


AndiMAC said...

I would so go with you on a hunt for black lava salt.

John0 Juanderlust said...

There is too a difference in taste.

Benita said...

Your explanation of the "salt story" is so simple; as was my comment on J's blog earlier. Your rendition was exactly as I heard it. (BTW: The tale was told to me in response to my surprise when he cautiously asked about using the salt shaker at my house the first time he came here. He was afraid of using the "good salt"; I had no clue what "good salt" meant! ha) For the record, I meant no harm by my earlier comment, and was shocked to find that it had been misconstrued.

class-factotum said...

John, your palate is far more sophisticated than mine. Benita, no offense taken, honest. Andi, I would be glad to go back to HI with you.