The Salt I'll Drop in Your Bag as You Leave

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It's rare that you stay with someone for a month and they give you a gift. Imposing on someone for that long, especially when you arrive with not one, not two, but three children, means you should be the one giving the gifts, and plenty of them. But my hostess in Italy needed her friends to try her favorite Salamoia Bolognese. As I was packing to go home, she dropped it in my bag, "You need this. Trust me." The seasoning salt isn't fancy — you can find it in almost any grocery store in the area — but it is something special.

Just like it says on the jar, this salt has "more flavour, less salt," or "più sapore meno sale," as they say in Italian. In Italy, I got into the habit of using on just about everything, in omelets and vinaigrette, as a seasoning for meat or fish, on sandwiches and on popcorn. It's particularly delightful on a simple tomato sandwich. Back home, I used it more sparingly, since I couldn't find it in local stores. I found it online, but I hated to order something so simple.

You could probably make it yourself. The ingredients are listed — sea salt, rosemary, garlic, sage, black pepper. I thought about trying, but suspected I wouldn't be able to achieve the perfect proportions. And I felt sad. (Yes, I overthink things. I probably should have just ordered it, but that would have been way too simple, right?)

Then something marvelous happened. Lo and behold, there I was in my favorite Piggly Wiggly, just pushing my cart like it was a normal day. And there it was.

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I bought a few, because why not? It's only a few bucks a jar. The other night, a friend stopped by for a glass of wine. We shared some cheese, had a lovely little chat and, when she left, I dropped a jar of salt in her bag, insisting, "You need this. Trust me."

What simple products do you love? You know, the kind of thing you need to make everyone try, because you know they'll love it like you do.

(Images: Anne Postic)