Now where's the vinegar.....
Posted on May 10 2010 at 22:31
With the summer just round the corner it’s all too easy to forget that only just a few months ago the whole of the country had ground to a halt in the ‘Big Freeze’. You will remember that almost every council in the UK had run out of salt for gritting the roads. Well last week I spent a fascinating day at the headquarters of Peacock Salt in Ayr. They were at the vanguard of meeting the demands of councils desperate to keep their road open during the record cold weather. They import raw salt from all over the world. We were there to photograph managing director Angus Craig and what a great guy he is. He was very patient and understanding as we rigged up multiple lights and softboxes trying to make an interesting picture out of this enormous pile of white salt in a huge, dark, storage hanger.
Angus is a wealth of information about salt, as you would expect, and was able to tell us about the different types of salt; Rock salt for instance is mined from underground seams formed millions of years ago, when land movements divided the oceans. Isolated Lagoons dried up leaving salt residue.This has been pressurised over the centuries, by the movement of the earth’s surface to form hard seams.
Sea salt is produced by the action of sun and wind in seawater basins. Water is naturally evaporated creating salt crystals that can be washed, refined and screened. Sea salt crystals are generally softer than rock salt crystals.
Salt is manufactured by pumping water through a salt seam and collecting the saturated brine. This is processed through a vacuum pan evaporator to produce pure salt slurry, which is then dried. Most table salt is made this way.
I don’t think I’ll ever take for granted the salt I sprinkle on my chips again!
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