No matter how you approach it, saltmaking seems miraculous. Some salts are exotic because of the places they come from, or appealing because of people who made them, or amazing because of the techniques used to make them. Some salts are intrinsically beautiful, or especially delicious, or just plain cool. On the opposite side of things, some salts–often of the industrial sort–are ugly to look at, and their origins are repugnant. You can see the intrinsic qualities of all the salt you want by visiting our shop (we stock over 100 now). But unless you enjoy vast wealth and plenty of leisure time for travel, you’ll have a heck of a time seeing even a fraction of the places where salt is made.
For the next few months I’ll post favorite videos of saltmaking around the world. Some salt manufacturing facilities are filthy affairs where bulldozers groan amidst the thunder of dynamite. Others are tranquil places where all you hear is birdsong and the rustle of marsh grasses over the occasional laugh or murmur of an artisan practicing thousand year old saltmaking traditions. While the two extremes are related through the universal human need for salt, salt from the former finds its way to our tables only as a refined byproduct of a far vaster industrial need for salt. Salt from the latter makes you want to travel, talk, learn, cook, and eat.
This is one of the best videos I know describing traditional saltmaking at Malta. The Gozo salt pans located on Xwieni Bay have been been producing salt at least since Phoenician times. (The megalithic structures of Gozo date from 3600-3000 BC and there is every likelihood that salt was part of the economy that thrived there) The use of some modern equipment doesn’t diminish the charm and weird beauty of Gozo salt.