Oriel Sea Salt and Oriel Sea Minerals have been granted Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status under the European Union’s quality regime, joining a number of Irish products already protected including the Waterford Blaa and Connemara Hill Lamb.
Oriel Sea Salt has become popular with chefs across the country, including Ross Lewis of Chapter One, and is used in O'Donnell's Crisps. The salt itself is fine grain and porcelain white, and disperses quickly in dishes.
Oriel Sea Minerals are concentrated sea mineral salts in liquid form. This adopted form means its manufacturers, Oriel Marine Extracts, can harvest the ocean waters for these minerals and collect them in concentrated form. According to the application, "When diluted in water, juice or other beverage at the correct ratio the minerals dissipate leaving almost no aftertaste".
Under the designation, only sea salt harvested from the bay of Port Oriel in Co. Louth can be called Oriel Sea Salt.
The two new protected products mean Ireland now has seven food names protexted in the EU quality register.
“This is great news for the producers of two special products from the bay of Port Oriel in Co Louth," said Marine Minister Michael Creed. "Oriel Sea Salt and Oriel Sea Minerals join the list of recognised and protected EU food names with a unique link to a particular locality in terms of quality, characteristics and tradition.”
Minister Creed has said that two further applications are also pending - for Sneem Black Pudding and Wexford Blackcurrants.