The geographical production area of homemade sea salt from Trapani includes the territories in the municipalities of Trapani, Paceco and Marsala - those towns home to the coastal salt pans including the islands in Marsala’s salt pond: Grande Island, Mozia Island and Santa Maria Island.
Salt pans are cultivated once a year. The process begins in April when the first seawater is fed into the first ponds, and continues throughout the summer to culminate in 2-3 harvests.
Sea salt production takes place right in the salt pans in the communicating ponds fed with seawater through a dense system of inner channels delimited by tuff and/or soil or at times wooden levees.
The salt pans are divided into 4 large areas. The ponds where the saltwater enters, which are in contact with the sea and fed using the techniques of the salt pond operators or through pumps and windmills, the service ponds fed by the fridde, that is the cold ponds, the caure or evaporation ponds where the carbonates and sulphates precipitate, and the salanti or last crystallization ponds in the seawater transformation chain. Water density increases when the water moves from one pond to the next, and the natural elements that precipitate, change.
The production of flower of salt takes place in the spring. It’s a very fine layer of salt that forms on the surface of the ponds during the few days when the wind is calm. The flower of salt floats on the surface of the water thanks to the surface tension of the water, and forms a layer similar to a red crust. Immediately hand-harvested by salters (curatuli in local dialect) using a rake, it is placed in boxes and put in warehouses to dry naturally.
Unlike industrial salt, which is obtained with treatments involving washing and whitening the salt, which make it whiter but also eliminate most of its natural substances, homemade sea salt is entirely natural as it is produced and harvested in excellent climatic and environmental conditions.
It doesn’t require washing and is dried at high temperatures.