Isle of Skye Sea Salt

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Salt production in Scotland used to be concentrated on the coastal areas where it was easy to find wood or coal. Indeed the coal would be used to create sufficient heat under metal pans to make the salted seawater evaporate and obtain the sea salt, since the presence of a warm sun in these areas was insufficient. The existence of salt production on the coasts can be dated back more than 400 years, since salt was a vital resource for food preservation.

In the far north west of Scotland, on the Isle of Skye, there were saltpans over 300 years ago. It is said that in 1703 a small saltpan industry was set up with the financial support of Sir Donald Macdonald, 11th Chief of Clan Donald. This first attempt to produce sea salt on the Isle of Skye has been little documented, and the production, said to have been quite important, disappeared for many years. In general, salt production was once a historically important industry in coastal Scotland and a major supplier of salt to the rest of Britain until the mid 19th century, when cheaper rock salt became easily available.

Today a small company has decided to try and produce it again, thus resurrecting an old salt industry. The company is using the waters of the Loch Snizort, said to be pure, deep and clear, which give the salt a great quality. In order to extract the salt, no metal pans and coal are used, but the sun still being too shy to enable an evaporation, the seawater is placed in large poly tunnels exposed to as much of the sun as possible, the rays of which are enhanced and enable the evaporation of the seawater.

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Territory

StateUnited Kingdom
Region

Scottish Highlands

Other info

Categories

Salt

Nominated by:Wendy Barrie
Arca del GustoThe traditional products, local breeds, and know-how collected by the Ark of Taste belong to the communities that have preserved them over time. They have been shared and described here thanks to the efforts of the network that Slow Food has developed around the world, with the objective of preserving them and raising awareness. The text from these descriptions may be used, without modifications and citing the source, for non-commercial purposes in line with the Slow Food philosophy.