1. Everyone’s doing it: rubbing flavored sea salt—smoked chipotle, vintage merlot, almond orange cardamom—into pork ribs and sprinkling them atop chocolate ice cream. And they’re buying it from us: White crystals imported by Woodinville-based Saltworks line pantries the world over, while locally owned Secret Stash Sea Salts is the sodium chloride that locals love.
2. Any way you slice it, charcuterie is enjoying a major moment in the culinary limelight. No one beats Salumi for pancetta or for curry and black pepper finocchiona, and the meat shop’s mole salami, augmented with chocolate, cinnamon, ancho and chipotle peppers, may be the king of Seattle cured meats. But Creminelli Fine Meats (the stall in Pike Place Market closed, but you can still buy products at DeLaurenti) also delivers the smoked and salty goods. Try wild boar salami made with pork belly, wine-infused cloves, and juniper berries.
3. Going vegetarian sometimes has replaced nose-to-tail pork consumption as the foodie fad du jour. Beet carpaccio and grilled asparagus have wedged themselves between pork rillettes and braised lamb’s neck on tasting menus, and veggies are taking center stage on home cooking blogs, too. Join a community-supported agriculture program—Tiny’s Organic and Full Circle Farms both deliver veggies to the doorstep of CSA members—and you’ll test your flesh-free culinary chops while doing your part to keep local farms in the black.
4. Boat Street Cafe ’s Renee Erickson was preserving figs, red onions, raisins, and prunes way before pickled everything was all the rage. Ask for her brined sundries at the cafe, at any of the Bill the Butcher branches, or at Metropolitan Markets.
5. In 2009 sandwiches were all about sriracha, the spicy red Thai sauce in a squeeze bottle. We’re nominating bacon jam—Skillet Street Food ’s gooey spread of rendered bacon, onions, and spices—as the novelty condiment of 2010. Buy it at DeLaurenti Specialty Food or Whole Foods Markets.