A “selmelier” is a salt expert, similar to a “sommelier” (wine steward). The word “selmelier” was coined since at least July 2006 by Mike Bitterman, the selmelier at The Meadow in Portland, Oregon, and the author of Salted: A Manifesto on the World’s Most Essential Mineral, with Recipes (2010).
A selmelier assists diners and cooks about which and how much salt to use with food.
A selmelier is a trained and knowledgeable professional specializing in culinary salt and its use in cooking and restaurant service.
Coined by food writer and entrepreneur Mark Bitterman, the word selmelier is formed by analogy with sommelier, a wine expert, using the French word for salt (sel).
The primary role of a selmelier is to assist cooks and eaters with decisions about how to use salt and which salt to use for a given food or dish.
A selmelier may focus on the use of salt as a finishing touch, allowing the crystals to remain somewhat autonomous and maximizing their impact on food. A well-salted dish does not taste strongly of salt, but instead finds its flavors enhanced by it.
Welcome to the Selmelier’s Association, committed to exploring, promoting, and celebrating gourmet finishing salts from around the world.
If you love food, excitement, mystery, and beauty all wrapped up in one infinitely complex crystal, this is the place for you. For ongoing personal insight on finishing salt from Founder and President of the Selmelier’s association, Mark Bitterman, visit his blog at http://www.saltnews.com
Last modified: 07/31/06
An Encomium to Salt
Mark Bitterman :: Jul.24.2006
No restaurant has a selmelier, dedicated to assisting diners in choosing the salt that will bring each course to its fullest bloom, in its permanent employ.
The Portland Mercury (Portland, OR)
November 16, 2006
Worth His Salt
All Hail Portland’s First Selmelier
by Matt Davis
Mark Bitterman is crazy about salt.
Sea Salt + Dark Chocolate = Smiley Happy People
Hope to see you there!
The Meadow / gourmet salt – chocolate – wine – flowers
4 ways to market your business online
You can’t expect to compete as a small business today without taking advantage of online marketing tools. Here’s how to get started.
By Susan G. Hauser
First Published: June 5, 2007: 6:10 AM EDT
(FSB)—When Mark Bitterman, who calls himself a “selmelier,” was trying to pump up sales at his gourmet salt shop, he knew standard marketing techniques such as radio ads and direct mail wouldn’t be enough.
Seeking to capture the imagination of educated, adventurous gourmand prospective customers, he instead set out to draw more people to his Web site and his Portland, Ore., shop by writing an informative, entertaining and provocative blog, “Salt News.”
Posted 30 July 2007 - 11:29 AM
Cheers! Mark Bitterman, Selmelier, The Meadow
Augusta (GA) Chronicle
Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2010
For great food, writer says salt as deliberate act
The cover of “Salted,” by Mark Bitterman. This book is a 312-page devotional to salt.
Using the language of wine, Bitterman talks about salts that are “unctuous,” that impart “spiciness” or “butteriness.” He refers to a salt’s “meroir,” the qualities it derives from its ocean, and calls himself as a “semelier.”
In some restaurants ‘semeliers’ now advise diners on which salt to use. How did it get so trendy?
Wednesday 16 February 2011
When the Lea-Wilsons started 15 years ago, business experts said there was no market for artisan sea salt. But over a decade in which many people have become more interested in what is on their plates, the company’s success – demand has always outstripped supply – does not overly surprise them. “There are even restaurants in America that employ ‘selmeliers’ to advise diners on which salt to choose for which dish,” says Alison.
The Food Section
POSTED BY JOSH FRIEDLAND ON FEB 18, 2011
sel·me·lier (noun): An expert in gourmet salts who advises customers on salt varieties, flavor profiles, and food pairings.