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Natural Mallorca: Salt production up

Pure, natural salt produced at Las Salinas in Campos

Just behind one of Mallorca's most beautiful beaches, famed for its soft sand and crystal clear waters, is the Las Salinas 'factory' producing salt in a method first used by the Phoenicians a couple of thousand years ago. Thanks to the crystaline water, high temperatures and gentle sea breezes during the long summer days, the process of evaporation of the water in immense 'pans' produces pure, high quality salt.

This year the long dry summer has helped to increase the yield of high quality 'gourmet' salt with around 60 tons of flor de sal and 150 tons of virgin marine salt being harvested. On the obverse side of the coin, production of normal marine salt – 6,000 tons - was slightly down on last year because a surplus 'salt mountain' already existed.

Las Salinas covers a vast area as large shallow ponds on slightly different levels are required to process the gradually evaporating sea water as the salt crystals slowly form and are stored in great heaps that resemble for all the world icebergs in the polar regions. The salt in them is used for varying purposes; in industry and the home for chemical processes, water purification and in swimming pools for example. In cooking the salt can be used for everyday purposes in fine or rough grains whilst the flor de sal is a valued seasoning in many gourmet dishes.

Mallorca salt is a prized and well packaged ingredient that makes an ideal present or souvenir of a trip to the island. It's stocked in many specialist gourmet shops on here, or can be bought online – there's a list of stockists on the flor de sal website where it can be bought online.

If you are really interested in the production, you can actually visit the salt pans for a guided tour and all the details are on the Las Salinas webpage. If you're going, you'll spot the mountains of salt on the flat landscape from far away.

Mallorca Spotlight recently sent its very own prize-winning photographer, Peter Young, along to the area to capture the other worldly landscape of the salt pans and mountains. Just take a look at his photo gallery I've uploaded to see just how interesting the vistas are..............