French people are very proud of salt that is harvested from the sea, especially if it is done by hand ‘à l’ancienne’, the old-fashioned way. One website says, ‘The colour is grey or pinkish, due not to processing, but to sand and algae present in the reservoirs’. I must admit that worries me, as does the fact that sea birds must fly over the salt pans and leave behind their calling cards. I actually like my salt clean and pure. In the UK we have ‘sea salt’ but ours is made by boiling the seawater until beautifully formed pyramidal crystals appear. Our production is even older, as it was first discovered when a slave kept his Roman master’s bath of sea water hot when his employer was delayed. Salt crystals formed on the surface and Maldon sea salt was discovered.

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