In addition to tides, sunny warm days are the key ingredients in salt farming. Continuing our Saturday column, salt farmers, known as paludiers, collect the gourmet of all salts for use in renowned restaurants worldwide. Once a wooden gate traps the 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 a swimming pool skimmer, to 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 and the paludier’s harvest of 60 tons of salt relies on wind, water and sun.
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