Pat Shingleton: "Pass the Salt-Please..."
In addition to tides, sunny, warm days are the ingredients in salt farming. Furthering our Wednesday column, salt farmers, or paludiers, collect the gourmet of all salts for use in renowned restaurants worldwide. Once a wooden gate traps sea water, a collection of clay walls promotes slow evaporation. Seepage leads to shallow pools and the appearance of the salt. Salt farmers use a tool, resembling swimming pool skimmers to gently drag what looks like a lattice of thin ice into a wicker basket. After skimming the top, the evaporation process continues, leaving the clay-bottomed basin loaded with coarse grey salt. Natural salt is less acidic and less sharp than industrial salts. With good weather, paludier's can harvest 60 tons of salt.