The mountain is calling

Salt, everyone knows it in countless variations. Whether pink, white or black, it remains salt.
At first glance, it appears to be a completely normal spice. But only apparently, because salt is not called "white gold" for nothing.
Formerly extremely expensive, then used for pickling food. Salt was and still is a very precious commodity on this earth.
What would the roast at family dinner or the cake for coffee be without salt? Boring and tasteless!

But where does the salt actually come from?

Salt extraction

Like almost everything else in this world, industrial salt extraction has evolved from a backbreaking job to a high-tech process. Nevertheless, sodium chloride (salt) is still extracted from the rock or the sea to this day.

In the following, we take a brief look at all the methods of salt extraction.

Salt from the sea

The fact that seawater is salty is something that almost all of us have experienced first-hand. Childhood memories: Just arrived at the campsite or hotel and already in the water. Oops. Jumping in and getting water in your eye. It stings!
Such a scenario or similar experiences will certainly sound familiar, but how do we get the salt out of the water?
The answer: Salt marshes.

A salt garden is basically nothing more than many small concrete pools, which look like children's pools, in a large area. Seawater is fed into these many small pools. The pools are usually arranged on different levels to ensure that sludge, algae and sand settle in the first pools. This process is repeated over and over again on the surface of the basins and cleans the water. After passing through several cleaning basins, the water reaches its final station. This is where the salt is extracted.

The water is dammed up in the collecting basins until it has completely evaporated and salt crystals have formed. The workers, known as salt gardeners, push the crystals together into piles, which are then heaped up to form whole mountains of salt. These mountains of salt are then taken to the factory for further processing.
In the factory, the salt undergoes final cleaning, is then packaged and is ready for sale.

EXCEPTION: The fleur de sel (flower of salt) so highly prized by most master chefs. These salt crystals are skimmed off by hand and sold uncleaned.

Salt from the mountain

To understand why salt has settled in our mountains, let's look back many millions of years to the time of the primordial oceans. Better still, to the time when the primordial oceans dried up.

Even back then, the seas were salty. After the water had dried up, only a meter-thick layer of white gold remained. Over the course of several million years, this layer of salt was covered by even higher layers of clay and sand and finally disappeared underneath. Earth movements and climate changes buried the salt layer deep under the rocks.
Today, the mineral is freed from all these layers to end up on our plates or in our soup. This takes place in salt mines.
The inner workings of a salt mine consist of huge halls and kilometers of corridors. In the halls, the walls are blasted to expose the salt. The huge chunks that are created in the process are crushed, cleaned, sieved and finally ground. Once these steps have been completed, the salt from the mountain is sold to the trader.

EXCURSE: Evaporated salt. This type of salt is also extracted from the mountain, but it is obtained from salty springs and rocks through which salty water flows. The resulting brine is heated until only the salt crystals remain.

Brine

Brine exists in both natural and artificial reservoirs.
Natural brine reservoirs still exist, but these brines are usually too thin for economically viable salt extraction. For this reason, salt often has to be added artificially.

Today, brine is extracted from the earth's surface via rock salt deposits. These rock salt deposits are drilled into by inserting two pipes of different diameters into each other. The pipe is inserted into the borehole to a depth of up to 1000 meters.
Fresh water is pumped through the space between the two pipes to dissolve the rock salt. The dissolved rock salt (brine) is pumped up through the inner pipe and is ready for further processing and subsequent sale.

Varieties

Now that you know how salt is obtained, we have a list of different types of salt here so that you always have the right salt at home.

Sea salts

  • Fleur de Sel
  • Fleur de Sel de Camargue
  • Fleur de Sel Chardonnay
  • Fleur de Sel de Guérande
  • Fleur de Sel de Ile de Ré
  • Fleur de Sel de Noirmoutier
  • Flor de Sal
  • Flor de Sal Algarve
  • Flor de Sal Ibiza
  • Flor de Sal Mallorca
  • Flor de Sal Portugal
  • Flos Salis (First Flush)
  • Fumee de Sel
  • Hawaii salt
  • white Hawaiian salt
  • Hawaiian Black Lava Sea Salt
  • red Hawaiian Alaea Salt (Hawaiian Alaea Sea Salt)
  • green Hawaiian Bamboo Jade Sea Salt (Hawaiian Bamboo Jade Sea Salt)
  • Lava salt
  • Pacific salt
  • Aguni salt
  • Bamboo salt
  • Ibiza salt
  • Maldon salt
  • Pyramid salt India
  • Pyramid salt Cyprus
  • Khoysan sea salt
  • Smoked salt
  • Danish smoked salt (Danish Smoked Salt)
  • Halen Mon
  • Hickory salt
  • Viking salt
  • Salish salt
  • Sel de Guerande
  • Sel Gris
  • Piran salt
  • Cisne Churrasco
  • Ocean salt

Fleur de Sel

  • Fleur de Sel de Camargue
  • Fleur de Sel de Guérande
  • Fleur de Sel de l'Ile de Ré
  • Fleur de Sel de Noirmoutier
  • Fleur de Sel Chardonnay
  • Fleur de Sel Alisseos
  • Flor de Sal de Mallorca
  • Flor de Sal Ibiza
  • Flos Salis (First Flush)

Rock salts

  • Australian Murray River Salt
  • Himalayan salt
  • Inca salt
  • Kalahari salt
  • Kala Namak (black salt)
  • Carpathian salt
  • Spring salt
  • Spring salt from Portugal
  • Sel Miroir
  • Silver Crystal Gourmet Salt
  • Tibet salt
  • Persian salt
  • Alpine salt
  • Kosher salt
  • Primordial salt
  • Atlas salt

Smoked salts

  • Hickory smoked salt
  • Danish smoked salt (Dänish Smoked Salt)
  • Viking salt
  • Fleur de Sel Chardonnay
  • Viking salt
  • Smoked Pacific salt
  • Salish salt