Salinas del Carmen, Fuerteventura

Museo de la Sal (Salt Museum)

Museo de la Sal (Salt Museum)

Date

4 April 2013
Location

Caleta de Fuste, Fuerteventura

28.367160°N, 13.871441°W

Information

The production of sea salt was an industry that employed hundreds of people in the eastern Canary Islands in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Today, however, Salinas del Carmen is the only working salt works to survive in Fuerteventura. The works, located 3km south of Caleta de Fuste, was originally known as Salinas de Hondurilla and dates back to the 19th century. It was rebuilt around 1910 and was acquired in the late 1970s by the island authorities, who restored the site and built El Museo de la Sal (The Salt Museum) there. The sea-spray salt produced at the works using traditional methods is now marketed internationally as a gourmet product. It is lower in sodium than conventional salt and higher in minerals such as magnesium, potassium and sulphates.

The production process starts with waves driven by the trade winds battering against rocks on the shore. The resulting sea spray, with increased concentrations of minerals, overspills into a receiving area, from where it is channelled into a series of tanks (‘cocederos’) to be warmed by the heat of the sun. From there, the heated brine is then allowed to run down into the evaporation tanks (‘tajos’), where the salt gradually crystallises in a thin layer on the surface of the water. The tanks are stirred twice a day and once almost all the water has evaporated the salt is raked up into mounds to drain at the side of the tanks before being taken to the salt store.

Museo de la Sal, Salinas del Carmen

Museo de la Sal, Salinas del Carmen

Museo de la Sal, Salinas del Carmen

Museo de la Sal, Salinas del Carmen

Museo de la Sal, Salinas del Carmen

Museo de la Sal, Salinas del Carmen

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2 thoughts on “Salinas del Carmen, Fuerteventura

  1. A museum devoted entirely to salt? I didn’t realise there would be enough demand for such a thing, but what do I know?!?!

    • Yeah… It was actually more interesting than one might at first think. The outside tour around the works had interpretation boards explaining the different stages in the production process and the indoor exhibition dealt with topics such as its natural occurrence and effect on nature, its chemistry, the history of its production, and also its use by man and its role in various customs in different cultures.

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