Anna Hock - Orsay Sea salt, Portnahaven
Anna has been in business for two years. She sells sustainably-harvested, 100% pure sea salt, as well as barley and whisky-smoked sea salts, from her home in
the Rhinns of Islay.
"I'm such a geek, honestly! See if you were to come down and listen to me talk about it I do not stop! I could list all the 100 minerals and tell you all the facts about the salt..."
"The idea began four years ago now after my two kids were born. I started playing around with making sea salt, testing the water all around Portnahaven and then all around the coast of Islay and then discovered that it's all got different salt quantities, which is really cool."
"I started getting it all to the lab and discovered that the water out behind the island of Orsay, at a point called The Kettle, has got a fabulous salt content, really mineral-rich. It's all swirling, it's like a whirlpool - you don't know it's there when you're in the village! It's basically where four tides meet."
"My husband Ashley is a fisherman, so this is what makes it all possible. It was his idea to try sampling the water from there so that's how we discovered it. We harvest from this tidal stream, using his fishing boat, when he's not fishing for crab and lobster, and take in two tonnes of water at a time, so 2,000 litres, bring it back into a salt floor, which is in a large polytunnel and it just naturally evaporates using the sun and the wind. It's untreated, completely natural, straight from the water source."
“It takes roughly 2-3 weeks depending on the weather, then we harvest it. The salt flakes are huge because of the salt content and mineral content. It's really high in calcium, iodine, potassium. But it's got over 100 trace minerals in it."
"Ashley will land the lobster and crab fresh on Saturday - and we'll cook them and get them ready to serve on Sunday. We'll be doing lobster rolls and crabby fries, basically our own take on dirty fries. Orsay salted fries with crab on top - like you'd have in a crab sandwich - and also deep-fried battered scallops."