SALT

In the coastal town of Samut Sakorn, nature’s harvest, the most basic and primitive form of all seasonings. A method that has remained unchanged for centuries. Visiting the salt fields in Samutsakorn reveals this fascinating process. A vast expanse of salt fields as far as the eye can see. Majestically bathed in intense sunlight, the process takes only a few weeks from start to finish, depending on the weather of course. The process starts with letting sea water in, to completely flood vast network of interlocking shallow beds, these beds are exposed to the beaming hot sun all day long, in addition it is also fanned by winds. Evaporation starts to occur as the seawater slowly begins to crystallize day after day. As the bed becomes increasingly drier, the concentration of minerals increases, a subtle orange hue starts to appear. This is due to a type of algae ‘Dunaliella salina’ that is attracted to the higher salinity of these salt beds, as the salt level rises, these algae eventually die off. When the salt is ready to be harvested, a group of eight farmers get to work, raking the heavy salt crystals into mounds after endless mound, backbreaking work in the excruciatingly hot summer sun. It takes them slightly under half a day to harvest one bed of salt. The salt then gets stored away in wooden huts at the edge of the salt fields, mountains of corse salt are left to age slowly for a year or so before it can be used.

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