Miners Mix: If It Didn’t Exist In 1850, It Ain’t In Here!
One of the reasons I began the journey with Miners Mix back in 2009 was because of a molecule. How many other businesses can say they were founded partly because of a molecule? Just that fact alone makes us unique! Sodium Chloride, NaCl, otherwise known as table salt, is the stuff with which most commercial rubs are over-loaded. Salt is cheap and it’s heavy; therefore large, heavy jars of seasonings packed with salt can be sold cheaply!
Real, genuine spices are very expensive compared to buying plain ol’ NaCl, which is why massive amounts of salt are prevalent in most seasoning rubs. Miners Mix, was begun partly out of dissatisfaction with the excessive salt levels present in most commercial rubs and seasonings on the market. Here’s a comparison of the salt content disparity of Miners Mix Steak and Veggie compared to some mainstream brands. For a serving size of ¼ teaspoon (the USDA mandated serving size for seasonings and rubs) Steak and Veggie has a sodium level of 88 mg/serving whereas many other brands will contain nearly 300 mg/serving! That’s almost four times the amount of salt per serving! Less salt per serving means more spices in that serving, which equals more flavor.
We’re definitely not anti-salt, by any means. Salt rightly occupies an exalted position in the realm of seasonings. Sodium Chloride is a flavor enhancer, the #1 most important of all flavor enhancers in our entire arsenal of spices used to impart flavors to foods. It was likely highly valued and used prior to the stone age. In seasoning blends and cooking, salt is used to balance sweetness and reduce the impact of bitter flavors. In higher concentrations, it’s valuable as an antimicrobial that enables preservation of meats and other proteins and for pickling and brining. Because it changes protein structure somewhat, Sodium Chloride has been shown to increase the capacity of meat to retain moisture, while also slightly tenderizing the meat.
However, the main function of salt is, or should be anyway, a flavor ENHANCER, not THE FLAVOR. Often, even a light dusting of whatever salt-packed rub you use soon becomes the predominant flavor on your steak or Tri Tip roast. Commercial seasonings that contain up around 300 mg/serving should be more properly labeled as “Seasoned Salt” because that’s what they are. Much like well-done steaks, over-salted food is a crime that the food police should vigorously pursue. Overly salty food is a conditioned and learned behavior that, I think, stems from people not really knowing anything about seasonings or how to use them. Being able to taste the subtle nuances of one’s food is one of the great and underappreciated joys of life. Unfortunately, many folks miss out on that joy by the overapplication of salt.
I’ve had lifelong cigarette smokers tell me that they’re amazed at how good food tastes once they quit smoking and their taste buds wake up once all those nasty toxins get expunged from their bodies. There’s a similar taste bud reawakening that happens when salt-addicts reduce their salt intake. For a while everything tastes bland, but they soon notice that the foods actually have their own unique flavors! All of the memorable steaks, chops, poultry, or other foods that I’ve eaten actually taste like a real critter but not a single one tasted like salt.
I’m completely confident that we nailed the blends on every single one of our products. Basically, if something we make doesn’t get an eye-roll and an OMG! response when we sample it out, then it doesn’t become a Miners Mix product. That eye-roll and OMG! are a requirement because if we get a less enthusiastic response, it just ain’t good enough! With every Miners Mix product, you can rest assured that there are only clean, natural ingredients in that jar. You taste real herbs, and real spices that impart real flavors without the need for flavor enhancers, artificial flavors or colors, or preservatives. There’s no soy, no wheat, no high-fructose nonsense, and no ingredient is over three syllables. Miners Mix is a small, family-owned business with an uncompromising commitment to quality that’s been proudly made in the USA since 2009.