The water that Judelson hauls out of the Atlantic sits in these barrels for 2-3 days before the debris settles and is decanted off: sand, algae, small sea creatures—anything other than pure salt water.
Judelson build these trays to attract as much light and heat as possible, while leaving space for water to evaporate out.
After about a week of evaporation (in the summer; the process takes considerably more time in cooler months), the trays hold only large, clumped-together salt crystals.
The Great Outdoors
It's an all-outdoor, all-nature operation; a ladybug might very well land on your salt crystals. (Is this good luck?)
At this point, they start to look like the sea salt that will end up in a jar on the table.
Daniel Humm and his chef de cuisine inspect the crystals. (Yes, he's iPhone-photoing it. Thus is the way of the world these days.)
The salt dries still further on these wire mesh sheets.
Now that it's dry, Judelson painstakingly picks out every bit of debris.
Despite the evident hard work, it looks like a pretty idyllic life out here, with sea air, open skies, and a dog running around.
Judelson built this mill himself to grind the salt down to size. "What I'm actually trying to do is break the crystals," he says, "rather than crush them. They'll break along their natural lines that way."
The finished product
Amagansett Sea Salt puts out a number of blends, including the lemon zest "Montauk" and the "East Hampton" Herbs de Provence.