This is a jar of Hwang to Salt or Loess salt. Similar to its famous cousin, bamboo salt or Jukyeom, it originated in Asia. To make it, bay salt is roasted at high temperatures in a container made and sealed with mineral rich clay. It’s a very labor intensive process, but the end result is rich in minerals and antioxidants. My father’s side of the family has a rich history of oriental medicine that spans almost fourteen generations. When my dad immigrated to America from Korea, he was forced to abandon that rich heritage simply because it wasn’t popular here. Many respected practitioners were condemned as witch doctors simply because their idea of medicine did not align with the western philosophy. Western culture has become a lot more accepting of alternate philosophies and in 2008, my parents opened up their first clinic. My uncle, who had been practicing in Canada for a decade, sent them this jar as a present for opening up their clinic. There are shelves upon shelves in my parents’ clinic filled with identical jars, but this one is never touched. It marks the time when my dad was able to reconnect with the heritage he left behind in Korea so he could start a life in America.
– Samuel Lee