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Camargue salt, regions from here and elsewhere

Camargue salt, regions from here and elsewhere

Camargue salt, "White Gold of the Camargue", is considered one of the best salts in the world. The sunshine of the Salins du Midi, the wide open spaces, the Mistral, the vegetation and the know-how of the master salt workers make Camargue salt from the Atelier du Sel one of the nuggets of our wild terroir.

Balanced, rich in minerals and trace elements, it is also considered one of the best for our body!

At Atelier du Sel we are proud of our region, the know-how of our craftsmen and it is with a lot of love and sunshine that we have been producing our salt for more than 10 years.

But it's not just in the Camargue that salt and sky merge...

We leave our beautiful region to take you to Bolivia, India, Argentina, Turkey and the United States to make you discover the fascinating beauty of salt deserts, marshes and salt lakes around the world, their particularities, their history and the issues that threaten them.

The Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Located at 3,658 m above sea level and vast over 10,000 km², the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia is the largest salt flat in the world. Although it produces around 25,000 tonnes of salt per year, its almost inexhaustible capacity has been estimated at over 60 billion tonnes! From the Salar de Uyuni is extracted the famous "Mirror Salt", known in gastronomy for its purity of non-iodized and unrefined Earth salt.

With its appearance of a ski resort in winter and an immaculate mirror in summer, it fascinates with its expanse, its blinding whiteness and attracts millions of tourists each year, visibly impatient to sleep in the hotels… sculpted in the salt.

Just like its neighbor the Salar de Coipasa, the Salar de Uyuni was born after the drying up of the prehistoric lake of Tauca 14,000 years ago, giving rise to this immense crust. The beautiful crystallized expanse is home to limited flora and fauna, mostly made up of flamingos and giant cacti.

Beyond salt, the Salar de Uyuni contains 5.5 million tons of lithium (more than half of the world's reserves) and since 2020, the Bolivian Government and several multinationals have shown growing interest in the extraction of this metal. , valuable in the manufacture of electric batteries, an interest that could well compromise the future of this incredible site .

The Rann of Kutch, India

Another setting, another continent. Welcome to India, to the Rann of Kutch, a seasonal salt marsh in the Thar Desert, northwest on the Pakistan border. Unlike the Salar de Uyuni, it is home to many animal and plant species, and is also one of the sites protected by the Ramsar Convention, which aims to protect water birds and since 2008, has been classified as a "Biosphere Reserve".

Former Gulf of Arabia flooded by the Arabian Sea, the Rann Kutch is today the second largest salt desert in the world with its area of ​​7,000 km² and alone provides more than 60% of the production of country salt.

From October, after the monsoon, the marsh comes back to life with the return of the salt workers. They dig deep wells there to collect the salt-laden water and basins to let it rest. The season will last 8 months, until the next rains. The difficult extraction conditions (heat, reverberation, risk of rain) are not the only difficulties encountered by the Agarias. Indeed, the production of perfect crystals requires a water temperature of around 24°C; temperature which increases each year because of global warming, thus threatening this ancestral activity.

Las Salinas Grandes, Argentina

On the right, an infinite mirror, on the left, a house of salt, straight ahead: a dazzling white as far as the eye can see... Return to South America to explore the Salinas Grandes, in the North-West of Argentina on the high plateaus of Jujuy and Salta. Located at about 3,350 meters above sea level, this ancient lake, which has been dry for 10 million years, has left a hard salt crust more than 30 cm thick.

The salt of the Salinas Grandes is a continental, volcanic salt, formed thanks to the rainwater loaded with minerals and accumulated in the hollows of the Sierra de Cordoba. It is extracted by the Quechuas in the form of blocks which are then processed to add the iodine it lacks.

Biodiversity is highly developed there; many birds can be seen there, mainly condors and flamingos, and some mammals such as foxes or vicuñas which coexist on the shores of these incredible salt lagoons.

Lake Tuz, Türkiye

Lake Tuz is the second largest in Türkiye. Its two particularities are its depth, only 1 to 2 m, and its impressive colony of pink flamingos (the largest in the country) which nest on the small archipelago in the southern part of the lake. Lake Tuz was declared a protected area in 2001, then a special environmental protection area , listed as a UNESCO heritage site in 2013.

The salt extracted from the lake represents 70% of consumption in Türkiye. With the arrival of summer, the waters of the lake evaporate almost entirely, thus uncovering a layer of salt of about 30 cm. This crust dissolves in the fresh water from the following winter's rains, and so on. It is from this natural cycle that the mechanism for extracting salt from Lake Tuz is inspired.

Sadly, Lake Tuz and its natural heritage are also under threat. Climate change and the irrigation systems of nearby agricultural land have resulted in the lake drying up in 2021, causing the death of thousands of baby flamingos.

Bonneville Salt Flats, United States

North America is also home to salt mines, no less impressive than the giants of South America. 15,000 years ago, in Bonneville, Utah, a lake dried up giving way to an immense white plain of 260 km², the Salt Flats.

The Bonneville Salt Flats is the largest salt flat in the country and the thickness of its salt crust can reach 1.8 m in places. It is crossed from west to east by an Interstate road, separating the plain in two; in the South, salt is extracted and refined for consumption, in the North, the tourist industry is in full swing: excursions, filming, photo shoots, car races...

It is world famous for the Bonneville Speedway, a salt track where, since 1912, all kinds of more extravagant vehicles than each other compete for the greatest speed records in the world. Did you know that the last record to be set in Bonneville dates back to October 23, 1970, when Gary Gabelich's Blue Flame reached 1,014.656 km/h?

Gary Gabelich aboard the Blue Flame, 1970

Welcome to America!

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Whether it is land or sea, black or white, coarse or fine, whether it is harvested at 3,000 meters above sea level or 15 meters underground, salt is a marvel of nature and deserves to be protected like any other resource.

It is for the love of salt that the Atelier du Sel likes to share its know-how and sublimate the taste of Camargue Salt on your plate.

Discover now our plain or flavored salt boxes and meet every Friday on Facebook for recipe ideas!

Camargue Salt Boxes Atelier du Sel