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The white gold of the Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez salt marshes
Salt is collected from the salt marshes in Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez, and is considered as the white gold of the Pays de Saint Gilles Croix de Vie.
Today, the number of salt manufacturers can be counted on just one hand, but these few keep the tradition alive, and carry out their profession with the help only from the water, wind and sun.
How does it work?
Sea salt is produced when seawater evaporates under the effect of the sun and the wind. In the maze of salt marshes that have been expertly laid out, the water is heated to 40 degrees and the salt content is regulated to 333 grams per litre in the final section known as the crystallisation pond. This is when the level of saturation has been reached and the salt manufacturer can then start raking in the salt using a tool called a ‘cimauge’.