Local Find: Jacobsen Salt
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Ben Jacobsen first tasted fine finishing salt as a student in Copenhagen. A decade later, the Portland, Oregon–based salt maker is striving to become America's only producer of fleur de sel, the crème de la crème of finishing salt. While he masters that formula, you can taste Jacobsen's artistry in a surprising range of edibles, from fine flake salt to salty black licorice to salted chocolate bars to sea salts infused with local flavors such as Stumptown coffee, Oregon pinot noir, and Oregon cherry wood.
-- by Kimberley Lovato
Netarts Bay unearthed a treasure for Ben Jacobsen, founder and self-taught salt maker of Jacobsen Salt Co. Growing up on the east coast and later spending time in Denmark and Norway, Jacobsen fell in love with “good salt” during his travels abroad in Scandinavia. Returning to the states, and settling in the Pacific Northwest, Jacobsen was determined to find a way to produce quality salt in the coastal nation.
His story is truly unique. Jacobsen was the first to harvest sea salt in the Pacific Northwest since the days of Lewis and Clark. After years of trial and error and testing the waters in both Oregon and Washington, Jacobsen discovered the ideal, nuanced waters of Netarts Bay. Netarts, a protected estuary and far and away the cleanest bay along the western coast of the United States due to the population of oysters found in the bay working as filters to the water each and every day, would become home to Jacobsen Salt Co.
Jacobsen and his salt proved to be more than a staple to be used in many kitchens. After a quick demonstration to a local grocer of a tomato slice topped with his crunchy, briny, mouth-watering finishing salt they were hooked. Local chefs like Justin Wills (Restaurant Beck) and Jason French (Ned Ludd, Elder Hall) were also early cheerleaders and users of Jacobsen’s salt. Today, restaurant kitchens across the United States, chefs (such as Thomas Keller, Renee Erickson, and Chris Consentino), retailers, and a myriad of unique food products include Jacobsen Salt Co. in their dishes and on their shelves. Jacobsen’s salt quickly has become ubiquitous with enhancing how food tastes in the simplest form.
The process at Jacobsen is entirely handcrafted, all the way down to the individual stamping for all bags of salt. The level of care and thought is reflected in their story. Each crystal is harvested, hand-sorted, and hand-packed. In a time of growth, Jacobsen doesn’t lose his determination to keep his salt approachable and not at all intimidating. According to Jacobsen the end result is just as basic, “making a product so simple and for people to taste and to see their reaction…” is something in which he revels.
Jacobsen Salt Co. in its short existence built a community and culture through its salt with the simplicity of texture, taste, and quality. The focus of Jacobsen is to positively affect how people eat every day, in their homes and in restaurants.
Jacobsen Salt Co. Tasting Room
602 SE Salmon St, Portland, OR 97214
Stock Your Pantry February 10 2017
We’ve just survived another round of snow here in New York. There is always a lot of hype prior to a snow storm about stocking your pantry. Since we don’t typically drive to the supermarket in New York I feel it is less of an issue than it might be in other places. I do however promote stocking your pantry with great food items to use in a pinch whether it be a snow storm or an unexpected guest. I know I’m always pushing products from our marketplace (that is my job!) but a quick survey of my pantry found the following items and here are some suggestions on how to use them.
Jacobsen Salt Co. Kosher Salt – This is a no-brainer. Good salt makes everything taste better and I pretty much use this salt on everything from seasoning a steak to brightening up a salad.
La Boîte Spice Blends – I have too many spice blends to count. After cooking the box of pasta from your pantry toss generously with your chosen spice blend and some olive oil before serving.
Rick’s Picks Phat Beets – These are good straight from the jar but are also great in a salad paired with goat cheese or blue cheese or whatever cheese is hanging out in your refrigerator.
Due Cellucci Traditional Tomato Sauce – Of course you could pour this amazing sauce over that pasta from your pantry OR you could use it as a base for a delicious tomato soup. Pair the soup with a grilled cheese sandwich and everyone in your house will be happy!
Lucy’s Granola – This a great breakfast option when you’re snowed in and don’t have anywhere to go. I recommend having breakfast in your pajamas when there is no place to go. Pour some granola on top of your yogurt for a delicious parfait. You can also sprinkle onto pancakes as they are cooking for some extra crunch and hidden deliciousness.
Paul & Pippa Biscuits – Is it a cookie? Is it a cracker? Well, these biscuits are both. The sweet flavors are great with a cup of tea and the savory would be great with that cheese from the refrigerator.
I’m sure if I moved some of the boxes of Cheerios around in my pantry I would find more products to tell you about but I think you get the idea. I hope you’re surviving the weather wherever you are. Remember you can order from our marketplace rain or snow or sleet or hail or sun!
This Thanksgiving, celebrate Oregon with a complete menu made with Northwest ingredients (gallery)
Oregonians have a lot to be thankful for. Our mild weather and fertile landscape means we live in a land of plenty that the pilgrims could have only dreamed of. From chestnuts to cranberries and sea salt to artisan cheeses, it's easy to find a bevy of locally grown and produced ingredients. This Thanksgiving, we're celebrating the bounty produced by farmers and food artisans of Oregon with recipes that highlight their skill and passion.
Starting at the ground level, wild mushrooms and truffles are abundant in our state. With that in mind, we start our feast with a recipe from Jack Czarnecki, award-winning cookbook author and owner of the renowned mushroom-centric
in Dayton where his son Chris is now chef. His dazzling Joel Palmer House Salmon Cake Salad with Truffle Dressing utilizes a trio of Oregon ingredients -- wild salmon, wild mushrooms, and Czarnecki's own Oregon White Truffle Oil.
Recipes included with this story:
"Our truffle oil could only have been made in Oregon. Oregon simply has the best and most abundant supply of natural culinary treasures on this earth," says Czarnecki. "We control every aspect of the production including harvesting the truffles and curing them to get them ready for infusion."
Czarnecki's product is the only truffle oil in the United States that uses domestically grown truffles. Most truffle oils on the market use synthetic compounds to mimic the aroma of truffles, and while these oils come on strong, they lack the complexity of the 30 different aromatic gasses that are present in oils made with real truffles.
Don't heat genuine truffle oil or use it with acidic ingredients like tomato sauce, or the delicate aroma will be lost, says Czarnecki. Instead, he recommends Oregon White Truffle as a finishing oil for fish, lox, popcorn, risotto, creamy pasta dishes, or whisked into mayonnaise, as with his salmon cake recipe. Find Oregon Truffle Oil at local grocery stores, gourmet shops, and online at
Thanksgiving would be incomplete without the ruby red color and fruity-but-tart flavor of cranberries. Southern Oregon just happens to be one of the best producers of cranberries in the nation.
"The unique thing about Oregon cranberries is that they are naturally sweet. They are much darker and ripe all the way through because our climate is milder and the berries ripen more slowly," says Tim Vincent, of
The family has been farming cranberries for three generations in Southern Oregon.
As the price per pound of cranberries continued to fall in recent years and the small family farm struggled, Tim Vincent hit upon the idea of using the family's fruit to make cranberry juice and dried fruit to fetch better prices than they could ever hope to get for raw cranberries in the commodities-driven market.
Now, Tim's brother Ty Vincent manages the 27-acres of bogs just south of Bandon, taking over for their parents, Bill Vincent and Kay Robison, while Tim runs product development, marketing, and sales for their cranberry products from his home in Tualatin.
"We are the only cranberry juice on the market that is straight from the farm to the shelf, and we're the only one that has cranberries as the main ingredient," Vincent notes.
After success selling their juice at farmer's markets and New Seasons stores, customers began to ask for dried fruit, so the Vincent family developed dried cranberries as well.
"Our product is pure fruit with unsweetened apple juice as the only sweetener and we slowly dry them for the best flavor. That's the beauty of Oregon cranberries, they're naturally sweet, so do less to them and you still have a delicious product," says Tim Vincent.
In the coming years, the family hopes to sell fresh cranberries direct to consumers. This Thanksgiving, try our recipe for sautéed green beans with Vincent Family Cranberries' dried fruit plus caramelized shallots and hazelnuts.
Champions of Chestnuts
Most of us associate Oregon with hazelnuts, but the climate is also suitable for chestnut trees as well. Most Americans have only heard tell of the chestnuts in Christmas carols "roasted over an open fire", but the interest in chestnuts in America has been increasing steadily, says Sandy Bole of
, one of the only organic chestnut orchards in the nation.
Ben and Sandy Bole bought their 24-acre farm 10 miles west of Wilsonville as something to keep them active during retirement and began planting an orchard of colossal chestnuts trees in 1993.
When Bole went to market with their harvest in 1998, the response was at first tepid. "I went around to produce managers and they didn't know what chestnuts were for or they only bought imported ones from Italy," says Bole. "I left samples and gradually people learned how good ours were. Produce managers are now looking for local product."
Demand for locally grown chestnuts is now so high the Boles are usually sold out by Thanksgiving. You can find their fresh chestnuts at Food Front Coop or shop for their chestnuts, including dried chestnuts, chestnut flour, and scone mix on their website,
"Chestnuts are delicious in so many ways -- shaved over Brussels sprouts, in soups and stews, and of course in stuffing. The flour adds a nutty taste to baked goods," says Bole.
Though getting to the sweet meat of a chestnut takes a bit of work, it's easier with these tips: To peel away the hard shell and bitter skin that clings to the nut, score the shell with a knife and boil or roast the nuts until the shells split. Peel the nuts while they are still warm to remove the shell and bitter pellicle (skin) of the nut. Once peeled, the nuts add a rich, nutty flavor to stuffing.
Liz Alvis spent seven years in the Oregon wine industry before changing gears and to found
in 2011. In a market crowded with goat cheese, Alvis has won over Portland area consumers with her creamy, mild chèvre.
The secret, says Alvis, is all in the milk. Alvis makes Portland Creamery cheese with milk she buys directly from goat breeder Dr. Lauren Acton DVM, whose herd of pedigree goats is nationally recognized as some of the top goats in the country. Alvis has easy access to the fresh milk, her creamery is just feet from where Acton's goats graze.
Cheese making comes naturally to Alvis she learned the craft from her mother Jean Mackenzie, owner of award winning Mackenzie Creamery in Hiram, Ohio. Since Portland Creamery's inception, the company has grown by leaps and bounds, in part thanks to the atmosphere of entrepreneurship in Portland.
"From our retailers to chefs and market customers, and even within the industry, there is a spirit of support of one another here," says Alvis.
In addition to plain chèvre, Alvis also makes flavored chèvres and
, a sweetened goat milk dessert sauce. For Thanksgiving, she recommends spreading Portland Creamery goat cheese on crostini with sautéed wild mushrooms or stirring her cheese into mashed potatoes. Look for Portland Creamery cheese at New Season's, Elephant's Delicatessen, Zupan's, Market of Choice, and The Cheese Bar.
Sea Salt From The Seashore
People called former software marketing executive Ben Jacobsen crazy when he started hauling sea water out of the Pacific to make salt. Just 2-1/2 years later and
's gourmet sea salt is being used by celebrity chefs like Thomas Keller and April Bloomfield and is sold at gourmet stores nationwide, including William Sonoma.
"I thought about how important salt is in cooking, and how we didn't have a domestically produced gourmet sea salt, yet we're surrounded by ocean. Then you think of the purity of the water here and the interest in local ingredients and food. It just seemed like a natural fit to start a salt operation here," says Jacobsen.
Through trial and error including testing 25 locations on the Oregon Coast for the best source of seawater, Jacobsen settled on Netarts Bay and converted a former oyster shucking plant into a salt making facility. "The site is perfect because the water in the bay has very little river run-off, so it has higher salinity, and the bivalves in the bay help filter the water," Jacobsen notes.
Carefully chosen sea water and a painstaking 36-hour process of filtering and dehydrating yields salt that Oliver Strand of the New York Times describes as," the elegance of a fine fleur de sel" with "flavor . so pitch-perfect it tastes like it's from a centuries-old European workshop instead of a start-up in the Pacific Northwest."
Once the salt is hand-sorted, Jacobsen and his team of 10 employees blend some of the salt with flavorful ingredients like Pinot Noir and Stumptown coffee. For the holiday season, Jacobsen is
Your cheat: High West Barrel-Finished Cocktails
Just launched, Utah’s distillery just released new bottled variations of both the Old Fashioned and a Manhattan. Yes, the drink is easy to make, but if you can get ’em pre-batched in a large format for about $4/cocktail, having someone else do is worth it. High West utilizes both bourbon and rye in their recipe, and then rests the cocktail in second-use rye whiskey barrels. The result isn’t overly sweet — the rye elements nicely cut down on that — with a modest hint of orange zest.
Back-up batch plan: Santa Teresa has put together a few interesting cocktail kits that sub in its 1796 rum for whiskey. The results are a Trinidadian take that adds notes of chipotle, curry powder and chai, and a deliciously smooth coffee/chocolate-y variation where all sale proceeds go to BEAP (Bartender Emergency Assistance Program).
Meet A New Full Circle Producer: Jacobsen Salt
Full Circle is always looking for the best tastes from small producers in all of our delivery regions. We bring local food to local eaters by relentlessly searching for quality products. It all starts with our dedicated buying team – tasting, meeting new producers and trying a variety of products until they find the one that makes them go wow.
Once in awhile we really hit pay dirt and find a true artisan that deserves to be shared across all regions. We’ve been lucky to find one such artisan lately. This amazing producer is Jacobsen Salt, founded by proprietor Ben Jacobsen, he’s pulling the clean, fresh waters off the Oregon coast and making the finest finishing salt around.
We love Jacobsen Salt and are proud to offer Ben’s Pacific Northwest produced salt to our discerning members. Here’s a little more about him –
Ben Jacobsen owns and produces artisan, hand-harvested, sea salt at Jacobsen Salt. Initially founded in Portland, Oregon, it’s new facility is located closer to the source in Netarts Bay, Oregon. Jacobsen Salt Co. harvests pure crystals straight from Oregon’s water in Netarts Bay to produce the finest artisan product.
Jacobsen’s relationship with food began with his mom’s spinach soufflé and memories of her making freshly baked bread at home in Vermont. His relationship with artisan salt, however, began in Denmark. He was studying there for an MBA when his girlfriend at the time fortuitously brought home a small package of finishing salt. It was a life-changing experience. As a student, he couldn’t afford many luxuries, but he could splurge on a small packet of good Scandinavian salt. Soon after, he brought finishing salt with him wherever he went.
After living between Denmark and Norway for four and a half years, Jacobsen returned to the Pacific Northwest. The Portland food scene had blossomed, with excellent local products and ingredients available, but the area was lacking a quality artisan salt. Not only was Portland missing such an integral ingredient, but the whole country was as well. He thought it was strange that no one had tapped into the resources available right in Portland’s backyard to produce a good American-made salt.
In 2009, he started to experiment. It took him two and a half years of trial and error before he finalized the product in 2011. Not only did Jacobsen need to perfect the process, but he also needed to use the best water in Oregon. “For me, finding the best water was just like a winemaker finding the best grapes,” he explains.
After much searching up and down the Oregon and Washington coastline, Jacobsen found Netarts Bay, an area already world-famous for oysters. In July 2011, he participated in a vendor fair at New Seasons Market with just a little bit of salt. When he found out New Seasons’ buyers wanted to order more than he had, he knew he needed to start a company. Jacobsen Salt Co. was officially created in August 2011. In just a few months, his salt was on the shelves at New Seasons and local chefs were using it to cook their favorite dishes.
” … If the sign of a good finishing salt is a balance of salinity and minerality, the flavor you find in a pinch of Jacobsen Salt is pitch-perfect, it tastes like it’s from a centuries-old European workshop instead of a start-up in the Pacific Northwest.” – Oliver Strand, New York Times
Purple crystals of the Oregon Pinot Noir Flake Salt variety
When he first started the company, Jacobsen hauled tens of thousands of pounds of water from Netarts to Portland in order to harvest the salt. He rented a moving truck and borrowed 275-gallon wine totes from a friend. With six of these totes at one point, the truck kept getting larger and larger. At that point, he knew he needed a facility on the coast, and he finally settled into an old oyster farm right in Netarts Bay in December 2012.
Jacobsen’s favorite dish on which he garnishes salt is simple—he likes to put the classic finishing salt on eggs and toast in the morning. He sees Jacobsen Salt Co. as an approachable, user-friendly luxury, which partly influenced the company’s small, pocket-sized salt tins. In his spare time, he likes to spend time with his dogs, cycle, be outdoors, and drink coffee inside on rainy Oregon days.
Rowan and Mary Jacobsen
“Simple and strong on salt—use more salt than you think,” Rowan tells me. It’s Wednesday evening in the home of Rowan Jacobsen, one of my favorite food writers. We’re standing in the kitchen of their 1840s Cape, chatting about cooking. “In general,” Rowan continues, “most of the stuff you’re taught to feel bad about is actually fine. Fat is good for you, and salt’s not bad.” I feel better about my food choices already, so we’re off to a good start.
Rowan, his wife, Mary, and 16-year-old son Eric live in North Calais, on the edge of Vermont’s enchanting Northeast Kingdom. Surrounded by rising mountains and glittering lakes, their 4.5-acre property is dotted with century-old apple trees, wild mushrooms in maple woods and narrow trails. Their house is warm, light and decorated with Mary’s art—original woodprints made to illustrate texts on Western herbal medicine. There are also memorabilia from Rowan’s investigative trips around the globe, including a cast-iron press from Mexico that he uses to make tortillas and a wrought-iron teapot from Japan that he likes to brew a roast oolong iced tea in.
Rowan is a renowned James Beard Award–winning journalist whose books, including The Living Shore, Fruitless Fall and Apples of Uncommon Character, among others, are about everything food and the environment. Topics span from the restoration of the Colorado River and geography of oysters to sushi made with invasive species and much in between. His voice is educational, lyrical and down-to-earth. To use his own metaphor, Rowan’s writing process resembles hunting and gathering. And though Rowan is out looking for stories, not game, it’s easy to imagine him in the woods, too. A few years ago, he tried to break all 64 of Michael Pollan’s “food rules” (as described in Pollan’s Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual) in one day, but he failed, lured back to whole foods eating at the sight of wild dandelion, of all things. This occasion illustrates Rowan’s ambition, strong ideals and humor.
For the Jacobsen family, meals are deeply connected with season and place. In summer, Rowan and Eric canoe to a secret island to harvest chanterelles barefooted, with foraging baskets in arm, pocketknives in hand. The family picks wild herbs near home, such as the mint that grows in the creek out front. During the growing season the bulk of their produce is from High Ledge Farm, a CSA a mile up the road. When it’s warm out, they grill outside and then dine on their dock at Mirror Lake, a five-minute walk from their house. On occasion, they’ll picnic on their hand-built catamaran chasing the evening sun.
Preparing for the long winter, the Jacobsens bought a cow that had been causing trouble for a neighbor, Ben Hewitt, a well-known permaculturist, homesteader and author. “If you’re going to eat a cow, it’s the one to eat,” Rowan explains. He identifies as an “industrial vegetarian,” steers clear of factory-farmed meat and is intentional about the animals he consumes. He expects the family to take more than a year to get through this particular animal, as they savor every cut—chewy bits, scraps and all. When their CSA vegetables run out as winter approaches, they buy produce from Buffalo Mountain Coop, a member-owned nonprofit in Hardwick. The Jacobsen family transitions to one-pot meals: pot roasts, stews and ramen that are cooked in a Dutch oven atop their wood stove in the living room. To dine, they pull up small stools and sit to eat around this same fire that heats their house.
As Rowan, Mary and Eric prep dinner, they share a butcher block in the kitchen. Rowan crushes garlic, Mary pulls parsley leaves off their stems, and Eric slices squash into coins. Their late-fall “working-man’s risotto” with vegetables and aioli is in process. Aioli, a garlic-infused mayonnaise, is a staple for the family. It complements and adds salt, fat and flavor to so many foods: Mediterranean fish stew, grilled chicken and any kind of vegetable. While typically thought of as summer food, it’s also traditional on Christmas Eve in Provence, France, and works any time of year.
What sets Rowan’s aioli apart from the typical is the dollop of fish sauce he’s about to add. Fish sauce, he tells me, bottle in hand, “improves most everything.” Like soy sauce and oysters, fish sauce imparts umami, the so-called fifth taste, “the essence of deliciousness,” a savory, brothy, mouth-filling taste, as Rowan describes in the Art of Eating. “Everything?” I ask. “Pretty much. There aren’t many things that are worse with fish sauce…. Every stew or soup should have a little squirt. A glass of milk,” he jokes. Deeply respecting Rowan’s opinions around food, I almost believe him about the milk part.
Rowan didn’t come from a foodie family, nor was he particularly into food as a child (traits I can relate to). A self-taught cook, Rowan started experimenting with food in college after a semester in Italy. A few years later, he got a gig as a cook for a dude ranch in Wyoming, where he worked in the kitchen “14 hours a day, making buffalo stew for 50 people without any clue what I was doing.” It was trial by fire.
Rowan’s cooking is practical and fuss-free, and he says it’s gotten simpler over the years. As he writes in American Terroir, there are two traditions that run through gastronomy, and he is firmly in the “ingredient forward” camp in which the cook’s job is to “let the nature of the beast (or beet) shine through.” He has no interest in haute cuisine or fancy food with a focus on cooking as performance art. In the past Rowan relied on recipes but now never uses them. He also steers away from fancy gadgets. “Things don’t have to be as complicated as people make them,” says Rowan, who is crushing and peeling a clove of garlic. “I don’t think people should make a big deal out of cooking.”
The challenge with Rowan’s food-first approach to cooking, he says, is the widening gap between what he’d like to make and what his guests might like to eat. “I stopped wanting to make food delicious and just make it interesting,” he tells me. Rowan prefers that ingredients “be themselves” as much as they can, instead of relying on sugar and spices to mask flavor. His homebrewed cider, for example, made with apples from his land, is tannic, not sweet as you might expect. (For the record, it was delicious.)
“Cooking is a good focusing technique,” Rowan tells me, reflecting on their process of getting ready for tonight’s meal as we set the dining table. “It’s a good meditative discipline. It almost doesn’t matter what you’re cooking. Once it’s ready, the important part is done.” As Rowan’s preparation for dinner clarifies, creating a meal can be a medium to connect—with seasons, biology, each other, our values and ourselves. Making food allows us to spend time with company we want to keep and cultivate relationships with the community around us, human or nonhuman, animate and inanimate. When I get home, I’m going to let ingredients guide my dishes. I know I can’t go wrong with preparing fresh, seasonal food with fat, salt and a dash of fish sauce.
Hearing about the Jacobsens’ chanterelle expeditions reminds Vera Chang of mushroom hunting with her mother as a kid. They foraged for boletus, morels and chicken of the woods in New York forests.
Wild No Color Added Fresh
I like my salmon simple and a little rustic. Some fresh herbs from the garden, butter and always fresh lemon slices. Since I’m on a HOT HONEY kick, this time I’ve added hot honey to the mix. Specifically Bee Local Hot Honey, who joined Jacobsen Salt Co. in 2015. Local to the Pacific NW and sustainable, Bee Local Hot Honey is made with scorpion chili peppers (yes, the name tells it all – it’s HOT) But…it’s so incredible that I’m using it on nearly everything and you should too! Check out their website, where you can get your own bottle of honey: Jacobsen Salt Co. – Bee Local Honey
Souvenir Series: What Souvenirs to Bring Back from Portland Oregon
The number one reason I like to travel is that I enjoy trying new food from different cultures. The other sensory experiences are great and definitely well worth the reason to travel, but for me, it’s always about what I can taste that really opens me up to a new part of the world. My favorite thing to bring home from travels is “foodvenirs” or food-souvenirs (as I explained in this post) so that I can bring a bit of the flavor of the region I visited home with me. Whether it’s a perishable good or a bottle and preserved dish, it’s always fun to pull out that can of tomatoes you brought home from Italy or the bag of salt you got from Oregon.
With a couple of exciting trips coming up, I wanted to dedicate a new part of my travel recaps solely to souvenirs and to help you navigate what to bring home from these places. There will typically be a mix of non-perishable and perishable items I recommend to bring home all from local artisans and regionally specific.
What souvenirs to bring home from Portland Oregon.
Jacobsen Salt Co. Finishing Sea Salt (flavored and regular), Kosher Salt, Sea Salt Caramels. Jacobsen Salt Co is the first North American company to harvest salt from the Oregon Coast since Lewis & Clark set up salt works in the early 1800’s. Since then they’ve become a nationally recognized brand, and yes you can buy it at William’s & Sonoma and online, but visiting the store is a lovely experience and will save you a couple of pennies than buying through another retailer. (Plus Oregon doesn’t have a sales tax, so stock up!)
*Packing Note: pack this in your checked luggage unless you don’t mind having to open your package and have the TSA agents test it before heading to your terminal. Speaking from personal experience.
Bee Local Honey. Regional honey varieties. Bee Local is a sister company of Jacobsen and you’ll most likely notice the signage around Portland notifying you that Bee Local hives are in the area. Bee Local is committed to producing sustainable honey and never heats, treats or blends its honey. It’s just purely delicious honey. I picked up a jar of the Willamette Valley honey to bring home.
*Packing Note: Don’t pack your honey in your carry on. As a reminder, the TSA only lets you carry on jars of liquids that are 3.4 ounces or less. If you have to throw away your honey, there is a gift shop on the other side of the check-in gate where you can rebuy it. Speaking from personal experience.
Hand Made Pottery by Local Artisans. Alexandria Cummings Ceramics Deep Coffee Mug featured. There are a lot of fantastic ceramics artists and beautiful ceramics at different stores in Portland and I highly recommend bringing a piece home. My friends at The Modern Proper told me about Alexandria Cummings Ceramics whose ceramic mugs I fell in love with. I love how deep they are and how sturdy the handle is. I used it in this tomato soup recipe here.
*Packing Note: Pack these in some rolled up clothing in your carry-on. These pieces are too delicate to chance to stow it in a checked bag.
Local Wine. Pinot Noir and anything from the Willamette Valley. If you’re a wine drinker, you’re going to want to take advantage of the max number of liters (5) you’re allowed to bring home in your checked bag with some regional wine. Some of the wines in the Willamette Valley don’t always make their way to the East Coast where I live so I loaded up on some Ayers Pinot Noir and a bottle of Cor Cellars Momentum (which is a medium-bodied red blend from Washington). I didn’t have a chance to make it to the wine region but I visited Park Avenue Fine Wines downtown and the guys there helped me pick out a couple of great bottles of wine to bring home.
*Packing Note: If the winery offers to ship you a wine you’ve fallen in love with, definitely do that. If you have to pack your wine in a checked bag, you’re only allowed to bring home 5 liters in each checked bag (which is 6 whole bottles). Make sure you pack them in some sort of airtight bag in case one breaks on the journey home. Most wine shops will have these bags on hand to purchase just in case.
Fine Textiles. Parachute Home Linens. The Modern Proper told me about this Linen shop in the Alphabet district. They have the softest collection of linens and beautiful textiles from the bathroom to kitchen to the bedroom. I came home with some beautiful kitchen towels with gray piping. I love how lovely and subtle the detail is. It’s just plain pretty. You can shop Parachute Home online but if you’re in town, pay a visit to their storefront! It’s minimalistically charming.
*Packing Note: If you buy ceramics, you can wrap your linens around them for safe keeping. If you’re bringing wine home, I wouldn’t recommend packing your linens and wine together in the same bag just in case of a breakage.
Pendleton Wools. Everything wool, sweaters, blankets, shirts, etc. I have been a longtime fan of Pendleton Woolen Mills as my grandma used to have some vintage ones she’d keep around the house. They product exquisite wool pieces and I left with a cable-knit wool pullover and a wool cardigan. Forgot your notion of scratchy wool, these are fine boiled wool pieces that will last a lifetime. You can buy it online or you can visit one of the many stores around Portland.
At the end of my week long journey to Oregon, I ended up buying so many souvenirs I had to A) resolve to come back another time with proper luggage and proper attire and B) buy another carry on bag to get everything home.
Remember, Oregon doesn’t have sales tax, so shop to your hearts content!
Jacobsen Salt Co.
Jacobsen Salt Co.
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- Oregon Coast
Love using this salt for my new cooking ventures. It adds great flavor to all of my creations and makes me look like a better cook than I am!
Hi Hive! It's Kate from the Merch team. When we started looking at partner brands for Hive, the team couldn't get me to shut up about how Jacobsen's salt would change their cooking and eating. No, really. They tried and failed. Maybe it's the magic of the waters off the Oregon Coast that makes the difference. Or the care with which the salt is hand-picked. Or it's that Ben's dedication to quality and craft has been internalized by everyone on the Jacobsen's team. I can't tell you what makes this salt so good, but I can promise you it will improve anything you pair it with. Brownies? Totally. Salad, sure! Veggies or a steak hot off the grill? Oh yeah.