My fingers were itching to open the box and see what was inside …
Fork in the Road’s Lauren Shockey has already written about Meadow, the twee little shop on Hudson Street likely to be one of the foremost foodie gift destinations of the holiday season. A Portland, Oregon, import, the store specializes in different kinds of salt. Salt?
At over $3 each, you probably won’t be eating them all at once.
Yes, salt, that crystalline compound that underpins every successful recipe. It was previously under-fetishized, and Meadow seeks to fill the gap by offering not only salt in a rainbow of colors from around the world, but also miniature salt spoons (suspiciously like repurposed coke spoons), salt mills, salt shakers, blocks of salt in different shapes, salt safes, and other fussy accoutrements that will help you become as salt-obsessed as a victim of high blood pressure — though at something of an opposite extreme. Visit Meadow and be the first in your neighborhood to follow an all-salt diet.
Wisely, Meadow doesn’t limit itself to salt and its contingent devices. It also sells, within a narrow West Village storefront, fresh-cut flowers, periodicals and books that showcase the foodie lifestyle, and chocolates hand-crafted in small batches.
Some of the prices on chocolates — many originating in Portland — will take your breath away. Which is how I managed to buy what I think must be the most expensive caramels in the world.
Now, I’m a caramel fanatic, and value salty caramels above chocolate, but if chocolate is also involved, they’re doubly exciting. I routinely blow $1 for one each time I see a display of Liddabit sea salt caramels twirled in wax paper. But when I spotted the $12 (plus $1.07 in tax) box of four Xocolatl de David caramels at Meadow my jaw dropped.
These caramels are made in Portland. Each of the caramels is coated in luminescent dark chocolate and has a different type of sea salt crumbled on top, listed in small print on the size of the comically small box (my translations here): Pangasinin Star (“asinine salt that fell from the heavens”) Amabito No Moshio (“ambient salt scraped from a mosh pit”), Halen Mon Gold (“Jonathan Gold/Van Halen mash-up salt”), Iburi Jio Cherry (“tastes like burying your face in a virgin salt”).
The caramels are so rich, you might be “tempted” to equate them with immorality (“sinful,” “decadent,” etc.), which I won’t. I’ll only say they taste great, and that once you’ve eaten one, the rest will be gone within, say, 10 minutes. And you’ll hate yourself a liddabit every time you eat one, because of the cost.
The names of the salts are on the box, but in what order do they occur?
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 7, 2010