The Surprising Secret Ingredient That Takes All of My Weeknight Meals to the Next Level

published Feb 17, 2023
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Greek chicken in a baking dish.
Credit: Kelli Foster

While I love rifling through my spice drawer and concocting a mixture of all of my favorite dried herbs and seasonings, when I’m rushing to get dinner on the table on an average weeknight, I love the ease and accessibility of spice blends and seasoning salts. I’m also a total sucker for anything Jacobsen Salt Co. does. From their vials of on-the-go seasoned salts to their wide array of pure sea salts, the Portland, Oregon-based salt brand can do no wrong, in my book. (In fact, I used their pocket seas salt tins as stocking stuffers for the holidays.) Founded in 2011, Jacobsen Salt Co. is actually the first company to harvest salt in the Pacific Northwest since the 1800s. They also sell excellent single-origin raw honey, salted confections, seasonings, gift sets, and more pantry staples. So, when I heard about the brand’s new Infused Black Garlic Ginger Salt, I was psyched, to say the least. 

While the name gives away the flavor profile, Infused Black Garlic Ginger Salt isn’t your average seasoning blend. Jacobsen Salt Co. takes their Kosher Sea Salt, then infuses it with their house-fermented garlic and Burlap & Barrel’s Buffalo Ginger, which is an heirloom variety grown in Northern Vietnam. “This salt has a slightly sweet umami flavor with a punchy hit of ginger,” the website reads. “Fancy up a batch of fries, your go-to noodle soup, or use it to season tofu, braised greens, and chicken.” 

Credit: Ian Burke

Now, while a lot of seasoning blends and savory salts can often be a little much, I wouldn’t worry about the flavor of the Infused Black Garlic Ginger Salt overpowering the dish. In fact, it’s quite subtle (though definitely noticeable), and the amount of salt you’d have to use to really overpower the other flavors in a dish would make whatever you’re cooking way too salty. Instead, it just adds a layer of nuance and complexity to more involved dishes, yet also acts as the star if you’re working with a relatively blank canvas. For example, while it added a good amount of depth to a braised chicken dish I made the other day, it stole the show in this morning’s French omelet as a rich, umami-packed flavor bomb. It’s also important to note that while sticking your nose in the jar might give you big notes of truffle and earthy funk, it’s much more dialed-back when you cook with it — sort of how a dash of fish sauce in a bolognese won’t make your sauce fishy, but just adds another layer of savory flavor to the final product. 

So, if you also enjoy all things seasoned salts — or are just looking for an easy way to punch up an otherwise bland weeknight meal — you can’t go wrong with picking up this affordable and delicious jar of Infused Black Garlic Ginger Salt from editor-favorite brand Jacobsen Salt Co.