Where is Iberian Salt harvested?
Iberian salt is harvested from ancient salinas in Portugal that have been producing high quality salt for thousands of years. Solar evaporation of salt relies on the presence of certain natural conditions such as a hot dry climate and summer winds. Portugal naturally has these ideal conditions as well as access to a vast ocean rich in minerals.
I already use sea salt. How is this different?
Most of today’s salts, even those labeled as sea salt, are stripped of important trace minerals due to their processing. All salt originates from the sea, either the living sea or an ancient sea that has dried up; we believe salt harvested from a living sea is more vibrant and mineral rich.
What is important to know is how the salt is harvested and processed. Salt harvested using metal shovels and machinery will leach metals into the final product since salt is corrosive to metal. Also, most brands of “sea salt” are dried using high heat or chemically processed, which destroys most of the important minerals naturally present in the salt.
Traditional methods of naturally harvesting and drying sea salt is a tedious process and an ancient art. Iberian salt is extracted by hand using only wood tools so as to avoid contact with metals, and also dried naturally by the sun and wind. These traditional methods help to preserve the mineral content of the salt which made it so valuable in ancient times.
How do I store Iberian Salt properly?
The best way to store Iberian salt is in a glass, wooden, or ceramic container with a loose fitting lid.
No metal should be used as salt will corrode metals.
Why is your salt damp?
Iberian salt retains its moisture due to its natural, unrefined state and magnesium-rich content. The humidity of the salt is an indication that it is freshly harvested from the living sea.
Can I use Iberian Salt in a salt grinder?
Due to its natural moisture content, Iberian Salt cannot be broken down with a mechanical grinder.
We recommend using the salt in its coarse crystal form by pinching it with your fingers to season food, as it’s been done this way since ancient times. You can also grind it with a mortar and pestle.
Why is it important to harvest salt in accordance with the proper lunar phase?
The impact of the lunar phases on tides and salt harvesting was common knowledge in ancient times. The lunar cycles affect the salinity and mineral content of water. When salt is harvested based on traditional methods using the proper lunar cycle, the result is a more pure and mineral-rich salt.
What are best ways to use the different types of salts?
Coarse Hand Harvested Sea Salt – This is the traditional crystal form of naturally harvested sea salt. This rich mineral salt is excellent for seasoning, tenderizing, marinating, fermenting, and preserving food. It can be ground using a mortar and pestle to create a finer crystal.
Fine Hand Harvested Sea Salt – The traditional coarse salt crystals are carefully separated to create this finer texture for those that prefer a smaller crystal for seasoning food and mixing with other herbs to create blends.
Flor de Sal Hand Harvested Sea Salt – The ocean’s finest crystals, skimmed from the top of the salt brine during ideal weather conditions. Very popular with gourmet chefs to bring a burst of flavor as a final touch to an exceptional meal. The mild and sweet flavor is ideal for salads or for finishing foods. Also wonderful on chocolate desserts, flans and fruit salads.
How can I support traditional harvesting methods?
Similar to the rest of the world, traditional salt production in Portugal has declined by more than 50% in the past 25 years as a result of the transformation of salt production from traditional harvesting methods to mechanical extraction, or complete abandonment of Salinas due to the tedious labor and devaluation of traditionally harvested sea salt. This decline has resulted in a loss of associated environmental biodiversity, which contributes to the health of the oceans and their inhabitants. This decline has also resulted in the loss of a vast amount of treasured knowledge of traditional harvesting methods.
By purchasing Iberian Hand Harvested Sea Salt, you are helping to support one of the few active Salinas still found on the Portuguese coast and the preservation of important history and wisdom of traditional salt harvesting for future generations.