ASIN TIBUOK - the Philippine salt in a clay 'egg'.


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Asin Tibuok is truly a rare, artisanal sea salt. Once used for trade, and preservation - and to keep the salt dry in a wet season. It is also known as  #TheDinosaurEGG purely for the way it looks. It was minted into the coveted Slow Food Ark of Taste in 2016. (The ‘Ark of Taste’ was created by the global Slow Food movement to recognize the existence of extraordinary heritage offerings drawing attention to the risk of their extinction within a few generations).

Watch Erwan Heussafs the vlog FEATR about the salt here. 

We are proudly offering this salt after watching and hearing about it for a couple of years - the only way to try it was to bring it in.  It's a pricey little egg - but actually, one that sits pride of place in our kitchen on the side where we keep all of our salts. (Obviously not a minimalist kitchen...) It tastes of mild smoky undertones - some umami and also has sweet notes. We have shaved it on desserts as well as butter and tomatoes and... oily pasta... the list goes on. Needs to be shaved on with a Microplane.  You'll need to chip the clay away to access the salt as you go. Comes in a box, wrapped in tissue paper with a detailed card explaining how special this salt is. 

How's it made? What even is it? 

Coconut husks are soaked in seawater for several months to absorb the sea's minerals in coral-lined pits constructed among coastal mangroves where seawater is able to fill during high tide, soaking the coconut husks ~ then chopped into small pieces and sun-dried for 2-3 days. The husks are slowly burnt for several days with local hardwoods of ipil-ipil, mahogany, duhat, or an-an, creating a coconut charcoal combination. The activated charcoal called gasang is then used to filter seawater which is roasted in clay pots until salt forms into a solid dome. The fire and heat must be controlled so the clay pots do not break or get too hot. This process takes all day; both fire and salt cannot be left alone. It takes the entire evening for the salt to cool so that it can be handled.


"While the salt is consumed locally in Bohol, it is not currently distributed anywhere else in the Philippines, after the country passed the ASIN Law in 1995, which required the addition of iodine to all salt in order to combat the prevalence of goiter or iodine deficiency. The law’s impact has led many indigenous communities to give up the salt-making process altogether, with all their unique varieties slowly going extinct. Even Asin Tibuok has become increasingly rare, as future generations of the notoriously mysterious family who makes the salt have become reticent to continue the tradition."


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