The online journal of Vermont filmmaker, Bill Simmon.

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The Briny Deep

Posted on Nov 20, 2009 by billsimmon in foodie | 2 Comments

I’d forgotten that I’d signed up for the mailing list for this awesome salt and chocolate shop in Portland, Oregon that Spine took me to this past summer — The Meadow. Well they just sent me an email with a link to lots of good turkey-brining info and advice

A brine is a salt solution that denatures protein. This means the salt in the brine unravels the spiral formation of the protein molecules resulting in many more places for water to bond onto the meat. For some lean turkey meat or low-moisture pork (especially ribs), brining can add up to 10% moisture.  But not all brines are created equal.

Most brine recipes call for an industrially-refined salt such as kosher or table salt.  Such salts lack the beautiful magnesium, potassium, and calcium salts that occur naturally, and make for a flatter, duller salt sensation—to say nothing of the 80 other sundry minerals that are found in unrefined salt.  Many salts marketed as “sea salt,” manufactured in huge industrial salt evaporators optimized for yield and global industrial purity standards are stripped of their natural minerals, as well,  Brines are straight forward – a solution of salt, water, sugar and spices – and whatever you put in them gets absorbed in the meat, so you should take care with what you use.  Please use natural salt in your brine.  It makes a huge difference.

The post includes a recipe for a brine if you’re thinking of trying it out. I highly recommend it.



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  1. On November 25, 2009, Mom said:

    I love the taste of sea salt on buttered baguette slices, but using it for cooking is pretty foolish. Remember: The folks at The Meadow are in the business of SELLING expensive salts, so naturally, they’re going to tell you it’s better.

    All salt is created pretty much the same — by evaporation. The trace minerals in sel gris are just that: trace minerals. Check out for more info. See you on Thanksgiving.

  2. Lungfish are capable of dingigg into the mud and stay there for a long time even if it dries completely until the water returns. If I remember correctly, certain species of daphnia lay what’s called resting eggs’ if the conditions degrade beyond what they require. Those eggs will hatch when there’s fresh water again.I’ve had many triops before.

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