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The quest for canning salt led to Cargill CMF at Salt Unlimited in San Jose


Restaurants & Bars

The quest for canning salt led to Cargill CMF at Salt Unlimited in San Jose

Melanie Wong | Aug 30, 2012 02:17 PM

In preparation for some marathon canning projects, I was tasked with finding canning salt. In years past, canning salt (without additives or anti-caking agents) had a slot on the grocery shelf next to other canning supplies, but not this season at my usual haunts. Calls to Diamond Crystal and Morton failed to identify any local retailers with stock although both customer service reps offered to ship to us . . . with shipping costs higher than the price of the product.

Web search had turned up a distributor of Cargill salts (producer of Diamond Crystal) in San Jose, Salt Unlimited. Alas, no canning salt listed on its website, but I called anyway to see what might be available.

It took a few tries to reach a live person, as the primary staffer also handles delivery. Not wanting to leave a voicemail, I did get through after a few days calling at different times. The woman recommended Cargill’s CMF Evaporated Salt. At $7.50 for a 50-pound bag (vs. $38 for purchase and shipping of 36-pounds from Diamond Crystal), it was a no-brainer buying decision. I made an appointment to pick it up.

Salt Unlimited is in an industrial area of San Jose, quite close to Hwy 101 for easy on and off, tucked in the back of a complex of loading docks and small warehouse spaces. No sign, but I spotted the company’s white delivery truck parked in front.

I paid cash and was given a hand-written receipt. Cookie showed me the photos of the salt pond in Newark where she got her start in the biz. She was gracious to carry the bag out to the car for me. Here’s the bag in the trunk of my car.

And our friend lugged the 50-pound sack upstairs to the canning kitchen.

CMF evaporated has a finer grain than Diamond Crystal kosher and not quite as fine as Morton’s canning salt. So, we have needed to weigh the salt as the volume measure is not equivalent. Without calcium and magnesium nor any anti-caking additives, this salt is preferred for canning and other food applications where non-cloudy liquid solutions count. Here’s the manufacturer’s specs.

We’ve been pickling and canning like crazy for a month, and the brines are sparkling clear, as promised. This bag will last us for five years or more.

Salt Unlimited 1665 Rogers Ave San Jose, CA 95112
(408) 392-0610

“Local salt farms?”

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