Urban Sproule is New York city’s first ever rooftop sea salt. Started by Sarah Sproule in the summer of 2012, this solar evaporated salt is completely hand made on a rooftop salt farm and Certified Kosher. After noticing a gap in the local food market, Sarah started experimenting with making her own sea salt. What started as a fun hobby quickly became a working business, consisting of weekly meet ups with local fishermen Glenn and Charlie from a small Long Island fishery –American Pride Seafood. New York has never been home to a hand-harvested rooftop salt — until now.
Urban Sproule is identifiable by its relatively uniform grain size. Their firm, yet delicate crystalline structure lends a briny punch to food. If you adore flake salt like Icelandic Flake or Halen Mon Silver, this is a great one to explore. A tad less refined and snappy, this salt is a lighter and more delicate version of our Bali Kechil Pyramid.
If today is your day to pay homage to winter, do so with Urban Sproule. Briny, boxy crystals work beautifully on dark leafy greens like kale, collard, turnip and swiss chard. Think crispy kale salad with pepitas, bacon, olive oil and a sprinkling of this salt. Or serve up your winter collard greens, sauteed in Burro Soresina and olive oil and topped with pickled onions, shaved manchego, with a touch of Urban Sproule. Delicately salt your roasted vegetables like sweet potatoes, parsnips and carrots. Or take your reverence for winter one step further with a heaping bowl of elk chili or buffalo stew and a pinch of Urban Sproule.
From Sarah, owner of Urban Sproule:
What started as a fun experiment making local sea salt quickly became a full fledged rooftop salt farm. I was holding weekly cooking demos with the Union Square Greenmarket preparing seasonal dishes. At the end of every demo, before the tasting, I would finish the dish with some kind of salt; a typical salt that you could pick up at any NYC corner store. The recipe would usually start with an ingredient like butter from Millport Dairy or sunflower oil from Cayuga Pure Organics, only to be finished off with the aforementioned salt. I was so proud of every ingredient in each dish, not necessarily because of how it was cooked, but because of the fact that I knew where everything in that dish came from; potatoes from Berried Treasures Farm, the kale- from Lucky Dog Organics or the Womanchego cheese from Cato Corner Farm. Everything had a story, except for the most basic ingredient, an ingredient that every human on earth consumes and that to me, seemed to pose a problem. I wanted to season this wonderful food with a wonderful salt, so I set out to make my own!
I employed the help of local fishermen Glenn & Charlie of American Pride Seafood to gather water while fishing 30 miles east of Montauk, Long Island. It only made sense to us that our water come from the same environment that the freshest fish at market call home. The ideal weather in September led to the first big harvest- 15 pounds of pure raw local sea salt in October 2012.
Word spread quickly and NYC’s first ever Rooftop & Raw Sea Salt was sold out! I quickly responded to the inventory dilemma like any Manhattan dweller would; build up, not out and the salt production was doubled. An 8×12 Evaporation House with rows of shelving now hold 500 evaporation trays of sea water that are filtered throughout the period from evaporation to crystallization. Every tray is then harvested by hand and the crystals are sun baked, on organic clay tiles that are locally made, and a few lucky ones are infused with seasonal ingredients from local farms. Every salt crystal is grown and hand packaged in New York City.
Want your own Urban Sproule? Find it at The Meadow’s online store.