Everything You Need to Know About Maldon Salt

published Sep 27, 2023
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editorial - maldon sea salt flakes box on a table. 03/2019.
Credit: Tarik Kaan Muslu/Shutterstock

If you know a thing or two about salt, then you have likely heard of Maldon salt. The 141-year-old gourmet sea salt has a rich history that spans over four generations of master salt makers dating all the way back to Roman times. Best used as a finishing touch to an already prepared dish, Maldon sea salt is regarded for its “clean, fresh flavor and large crunchy flakes” in addition to its distinctive pyramid-like shape.

Quick Overview

What Is Maldon Salt?

Maldon salt is a type of flaky sea salt that is harvested, produced, and sold by the Maldon Salt company, which is based in the village of Maldon, a town in Essex, England. The salt, which is known for its pyramid-shaped flakes, is harvested from the Blackwater Estuary River, which flows through the eastern region of Essex. The salt is beloved for its quality taste and texture and is commonly used as a finishing salt for several foods, both savory and sweet.

To have a complete understanding of the benefits of Maldon salt, though, you first need to know what differentiates it from the rest of the pack. 

What Is Maldon Salt? And What Makes It So Special?

Maldon is a flaky sea salt originally made in the town of Maldon in Essex, a region of eastern England. The salt is sold by the Maldon Salt company and harvested from the Blackwater Estuary River, which is known for its “Spring Tide” saltwater. Maldon salt is recognized around the world as being one of the finest sea salts available and is often used as a finishing salt or garnish for various foods and desserts. Maldon is also known for its pyramid-shaped flakes and use of time-tested harvesting techniques.

Maldon is a fourth-generation, family-owned business. Their method, which involves evaporating seawater until it forms large crystals of salt, has mostly remained the same since the days of the Roman occupation of Britain. These days, however, the process moves along a bit faster due to modern technology while still staying grounded to its original roots.  

What Is the Difference Between Maldon and Other Salts?

Maldon sea salt (aka flaky sea salt): In a close second behind kosher for the purest salt you can acquire, Maldon is like the final boss of the entire family. Produced by evaporating sea water, it is irregular in shape and higher in mineral content than both table and kosher salt. Its large, flaky crystals enhance texture and provide a delicate and satisfying crunch in each bite. Sea salt shines best when used as a finishing salt; sprinkle it onto your food before serving. 

Kosher salt: The top choice in most professional kitchens, kosher salt is ideal for seasoning meat because of its large grains which distribute evenly and cling well to the meat. The coarse texture of the grains make this salt very easy to grasp with your fingers. Due to its lack of impurities, it is considered to be the purest form of salt you can find. 

Table salt: Found in restaurants, kitchens, and dining rooms, table salt consists of small cube-shaped crystals that are packed densely together. A no-brainer for baking, this very generic type of salt contains anti-caking agents, which gives it the ability to retain its consistency even in a humid climate.

A Brief History of Maldon Salt

Harvested in the English county of Essex within the small coastal town of Maldon, this prized brand of sea salt has been produced from the Blackwater Estuary River between Maldon and West Mersea by the same family for over a century.

The Maldon Salt company started harvesting salt when James Osborne and his son Cyril founded the company in 1882. The two of them, followed by grandson Clive, and eventually great-grandson Steve, would collectively run the business over four fruitful generations. Using “time-honored techniques and the appreciated art of temperature and timing,” the Osborne family would harvest salt through the “Spring Tide” saltwater when the difference between high and low water is at its largest. 

Over their years of success, the company went on to grace the shelves of prestigious outlets such as Harrods and Fortnum & Mason. But it wasn’t until 2012 when the company received its highest honor: A Royal Warrant as official purveyors of salt to Her Majesty the Queen. Along with this honor, Maldon is now permitted to display the royal coat of arms on their packaging as an official seal of quality. 

Recipes with Maldon Salt

Maldon is perfect for everything from salt rimming cocktails to adding the finishing touches to your favorite meals. Here are a few of our favorite sea salt-inspired snacks that are just begging for a pinch of Maldon.