World famous San Felipe Natural Sea Salt is produced in an area called the Ometepec Estuary in Baja California. The Estuary is within the “Reserva de la Biosfera del Alto Golfo de California y Delta del Río Colorado” an important biological reserve. http://www.oceanoasis.org/conservation/study1.html.
The Sea of Cortez has been in the making for the past 7 to 10 million years. It is relatively young, clean and undeveloped. As the Colorado River formed the Grand Canyon in the States of Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada and California immense amounts of sand was deposited in the river delta area, the Northern end of the Sea of Cortez. The Ometepec Estuary was formed by the flow of the river, the strong tides and the sands from the Colorado River.
The Estuary is of such a natural design that at the times of a full moon, when the tides are at the highest, the Estuary will flood with sea water from the Sea of Cortez. As the moon wanes and the water recedes the flood water is trapped in the Estuary. Because of the heat and the dry desert winds of the Baja the water, H2O, begins to evaporate making the remaining sea water more concentrated or dense and heavier. The heavy, concentrated water soaks into the sands below creating an underground basin of highly concentrated sea water. Sea water in its natural state contains approximately 3.5% salt. The concentrated sea water in the underground basin is approximately 20% salt.
Think of the process as if you were reducing wine to make a sauce. If you heat wine in a pot, the moisture – water – is driven off and the wine becomes concentrated and heavier.
The salina has a well (pozo) where the concentrated water is pumped into a concentration pond where the water is allowed to evaporate even more. In this pond, minerals such as gypsum (jesso) and iron oxide will naturally fall out of the sea water solution.
When the concentrated sea water reaches a level of concentrate of 25% the water is moved into the final evaporation ponds or crystallizer ponds. The Baja heat and winds evaporate the remaining H2O and salt is formed. The sodium chloride forms at a concentration of 26% and other minerals form at a concentration of 30% to 32%. It is these other minerals, magnesium, potassium, calcium and many of the other micro-nutrients found in sea water that give San Felipe Salt its unique flavor. Sea water actually contains 90 minerals. Most all of the minerals can be found in San Felipe Salt to some degree.
Salt companies like “La Fina” and “Morton …when it rains it pours….” wash the salt to make it sparkling clean and white. The result is pure sodium chloride without any naturally balancing minerals. In fact, it is an international regulation that in order to call a product “table salt”, it must be a minimum of 97% sodium chloride. The stuff your doctor suggests to reduce your intake of.
Health conscious people are learning that natural sea salt – as Mother Nature intended it to be – contains many naturally occurring minerals that are depleted in modern diets and washed out from refined salts.
Professional Chefs are finding that the natural minerals in natural sea salt bring a new dimension of flavors that refined table salt can’t.