On the outskirts of Salinas Ecuador, on the way to Punta Carnero and just outside of Anconcito Ecuador is what is known as the salt flats or salt mines of Ecuador. We’ve been by these salt mounds; see the video below at around 1:40 on the video and again at the end at 7:22.
Sea Salt Made from the Evaporation Process
Sea Salt is produced in this area of Salinas by filling small ponds or lagoons with ocean water; once the water evaporates it makes salt deposits. After many repetitions of filling these ponds with ocean water, there are enough salt deposits for harvesting and processing.
FYI: Ecuador produces 75,000 metric tons of salt annually, which is more than enough for all Ecuadorian household consumption. Most of the sea salt is transported from the lagoons to salt-refineries that are located just outside of Salinas then transported to manufacturing plants where it is further processed and adulterated with artificial iodine and fluoride, which is then sold in the grocery stores all over Ecuador.
|fluoridated salt sold in Cuenca Ecuador stores|
Some of the salt is left in its natural state and then transported to various locations in Ecuador. You can buy natural sea salt with all of the minerals intact in and around any of the Mercados located throughout the city of Cuenca. If you go to specialty stores, you'll pay gringo prices.
The price in these areas is eight to ten cents a pound but Gringos and foreigners pay twenty cents. Gringos that buy it from ‘recommendations’ on gringo lists, that don’t speak Spanish will pay ten to twenty times that amount. They will usually push the price all the way up to almost California prices. We didn’t make the rules, we just observe them. We're speaking from personal experience and observation, our long time followers know that.
What you get inside and near the Mercados is salt in its ‘rock’ form. It is not refined, and you will have to further grind it down if that’s how you plan on using it.
Healthfulness of Sea Salt
Sea salt comes in many colors, depending on where it was harvested from in the world, but it can be white, light pink, pink to grey and even blue or black. Sea salt from Salinas is usually white and, or light grey and made up of large grains. It contains many trace minerals that our body needs and utilizes such as iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese and zinc and even minute amounts of natural occurring iodine from the sea life.
Unfortunately, most, if not all the brands of table salt sold in Ecuador grocery stores has artificial fluoride added during the refinery (stripping away the minerals) process.
Until we write again…
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We're an Expat Family of Five, Living Frugal, Healthy and Happy Abroad. We live in Cuenca, Ecuador and travel the Ecuador coast whenever we get a chance. We just adventured throughout the country of Panama for five weeks! Come along and enjoy some of our experiences with us!