Good on everything but eggs: Livia’s Seasoning Salt embraces its Swedish heritage

All photos: Livia's Seasoning Salt

Food & Drink

Good on everything but eggs: Livia’s Seasoning Salt embraces its Swedish heritage

11049542_769572133150766_5947348535322177939_nThe daughter of Swedish immigrants, Livia Youngdahl was known for her intellect, wit and culinary skills before she passed away at age 100. Her meals often included one special ingredient: a dash of a special seasoning blend of kosher salt, course-ground black pepper and garlic.

“Her home was a gathering place for wonderful conversation and food,” remembered Susan Hogan, Youngdahl’s niece. “Friends and family loved the seasoning. She would give it to her friends in baggies or reusable containers. People just loved it.”

Youngdahl used to joke that the seasoning tasted “good on everything but eggs.” Hogan enjoyed the seasoning so much, she wanted to make it available to more people. With Youngdahl’s blessing, she launched Livia’s Seasoning Salt in 1997.file3

Hogan first sold the seasoning in glass parmesan shakers because she needed bigger holes for the kosher salt to pass through. She sold more than 30 shakers at her first outing at a craft fair. She later set up booths at Minneapolis-area farmer markets and eventually started selling the product online.
“I brought Livia down to church when she was 99 to our booth for her to see what it looked like,” Hogan said. “She was so thrilled and fun about it. It was great. She was a neat lady. She was the best date you would ever have because she was so interesting and interested and had so much to say.”
Youngdahl loved embracing her Swedish heritage. Hogan remembers how Youngdahl, in her 90s, would send tape recordings of herself speaking Swedish to her friend Greta Olsen who lived in Sweden.

“She came over to our house when she was 92, and taught us how to make Swedish rye
bread,” Hogan said. “It was just a kick of a day. It was delicious and fun to watch her operate.”

11079365_789492117825434_3044827734492038396_nHogan loves keeping Youngdahl’s memory alive through Livia’s Seasoning Salt. The seasoning has turned into a family affair, with her husband and son helping grow the business. The seasoning is now available in stores in 11 states.

“We just got into the American Swedish Institute; we’re in their gift shop,” Hogan said. “Boy, she would be thrilled with that because she was a member there, and she would go over to their coffee place. That was a highlight. She would be very happy to know it’s on the shelves there.”

Livia’s Seasoning Salt sells for $10. Customers can receive free shipping when ordering two or more shakers by using coupon code “FREESHIPPING.”

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