Salt was used in ancient times as a talisman and a symbol of good luck. It was very valuable in Greece, where they even used it to pay slaves. In Rome, soldiers were paid with a portion of salt. The word salary comes from sal, salis, which means salt in Latin.

More recently, before we had the luxury of a fridge, salt was used as a natural food preserver all over the world. Lanzarote fishermen travelling back from Africa would cover their fish with salt to ensure it would stay fresh.

Nowadays, salt is mainly used in food and in swimming pools. It’s still used as a food preserver, especially in packaged foods, but also to add flavour to your meals. In swimming pools it’s used as an alternative to chlorine as it is less harsh.
There are 2 ways to collect salt: from mines or from the sea. Sea salt is highly regarded because of it high content in essential trace minerals and better flavour. Studies have found around 80 of these elements in sea salt and no laboratory is able to recreate this. There are a few salt works in Lanzarote, you’ve probably heard of Salinas del Janubio.

It was started in the beginning of the 20th century by Víctor Fernández to supply the island’s need, especially that of the fishing industry. Both men and women worked all hours, covered top to bottom to protect their skin against the strong sun, yet barefoot. All work was done manually and that still stands today, as they only use a machine for packaging. Today, Salinas struggle because they’re not entitled to government funding as they’re regulated by Mining Law and not Agriculture Law, as they should be.

In La Graciosa, that’s a different story altogether. The rock pool would fill up with sea water during high tides. Low tides meant the rock pools dried up, leaving the salt behind. Then my aunts would go and scrape the salt of the rock to fill big sacks to take back home: that was hard work!!!!