For $10, a beautiful bag of secret salt with Sicilian roots and Kickstarter funding

Some months ago I happened on a Kickstarter project from Angelo Garro, a San Francisco blacksmith who is part of the Chez Panisse family in the Bay Area. His project? Putting the salt mixture he’s been giving away free to friends and families for years into production.

And with the help of his friends — Chez Panisse founder Alice Waters and author-activist Michael Pollan, who gave testimonials to the salt, and filmmaker Werner Herzog, who made a two-minute film about it for Kickstarter, his project — goal, $30,000 — was funded more than $141,000.

In the film, which Herzog narrates, he calls Garro “a medieval man who makes his own wine and grappa, cures his own olives and meats — and makes salami. He hunts and forages, and each season he makes a wild boar for his friends in his smithy.”

I’d like to meet him. When you see the photo of a long candlelit table with grapes, bread, wine and happy faces halfway through the short film, you’ll long to sit at that table too.

He uses the organic salt mixture on everything. “Because of the spices,” Herzog explains, “you use much less.” The recipe comes from Garro’s Sicilian grandmother, passed down through generations of his family.


A few weeks ago, I received my bag of salt. It’s beautiful: pure crystalline sea salt mixed with wild fennel, a little hot pepper and his secret spices. I love the way it looks piled into a small bowl on the table.

On the Omnivore Salt website, Alice Waters is quoted as saying, “This salt is so indispensable, I bring a bag everywhere I go.” It’s like a brilliant, natural seasoning salt with none of the drawbacks of the commercial varieties. It’s fresh and lively, ready to be dusted on meat, poultry, salads.

One bag of Omnivore Salt is $10 online. Or, send an email to with your phone number, and someone, probably Garro, will get back to you.


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Twitter: @sirenevirbila