My family is from Lesvos. It is an island very close to the coast of Turkey. To me, it kinda looks like the shape of a cave. It is one of the most beautiful places in the world (I know, no bias, right?)
Almost every time we have gone to visit, we bring salt with us. Yep, the tin with the little girl in the rain on it. I often wondered why. I know that the salt there is different. It always kind of reminded me of rock salt.
With the gourmet salt craze tha tis currently going on, I actually found Lesvos salt in a store. I had to buy it of course! And when I opened it up, there it was. the rock salt. Now, why did we always bring our own? I’ll tell you why!
There are a few areas on the island that the salt comes from. Near the village where my family is from it comes from Alkoudi, it is near Skamioud where the machines are that process the salt. I remember walking there during the summer and it looked very muddy. Almost like quicksand. One of our cousins told us, look, this is where the salt comes from?
We were alarmed, we just WALKED on the salt?? And he said that because of the salt, people actually come down there and go into the mud. Almost like a spas. We were highly doubtful. So he started across. We thought for SURE that he would get stuck and we wouldn’t be able to get him out and we would be in big trouble. But he made it across just fine.
All we could think of was that people’s bodies, shoes, etc were in the salt. I refused to use anything but what we brought the rest of the summer. Of course the adult me knows that the salt goes through a processing plant and anything that is harmful is probably removed. But all that I knew in that moment, was salt= people’s feet.
From what my mom told me at the time, the salt comes from the water/mud that is there when it dries out. Of course what I pictured was them waiting for the heat to dry it out and then picking it up from the ground. That’s part of what happens, in a way but not in the way I imagined and yes, the dirt is actually removed!
Now, of course, older I am all about the lesbian salt and put it on everything. I have also found out that it is a vacation attraction. Who knew??
So, not only is this a way for me to share more of my culture and heritage with you but I think it’s also another way to show you that you shouldn’t just a book by it’s cover. You never know until you try it! Also, way to go Greek immune systems lol
If you’d like to read more into the process by which the salt is harvested and some more on the history and current practices, this site is really informative and has lots of details