More than just salt
Salt is a mineral found naturally in the oceans and on land. The chemical formula is NaCl - sodium cloride - consisting of som 40 percent sodium and 60 percent cloride. Chemically seen salt is just salt but we actually find large differences - depending on the origin of the salt, how it is made and what it is used for.
Laesoe Salt is made by seething - a process where the saline ground water is heated in large iron pans until the salt crystalises. Laesoe Salt consists of the salt itself and a series of minerals that help create the unique taste making Laesoe Salt a highly valued gastronomic spice.
Salt is found in the oceans - sea water consists of approx 3,5 percent salt - and on the land where it is found in the underground as well as on the surface.
Salt is fundamentally made in the same way all over the world - either by mining or by different methods of evaporation. More than 200 million tons of salt is produced every year and only 6 percent is used for cooking. The rest is used for industrial purposes, winter road maintenance etc.
The sea water around Laesoe only holds 2 percent salt but the ground water on Roennerne can contain up to as much as 14 percent salt, and then it it is possible to maintain a production on evaporating the water. In more sunny parts of the world sea water is evaporated in large open iron pans by solar power. On Laesoe we use locally produced fire wood to evaporate the water in large open iron pans. The method has been used in the middle ages as well and is also known from other places in Europe.
Salt is the oldest known spice. Salting food for taste and preservation has been used for more than 6000 years. Throughout history salt has been one of the most imporant commercial products of almost every culture in the east and in the west, and the need for salt or the lack of salt has lead to increased taxes and even wars. Roman soldiers had part of their wages paid with salt - the word salary comes from this tradition.
Even locally Laesoe for a long period in the middle ages paid their taxes to Viborg Cathedral by means of salt because the islanders had nothing else to pay with...