Alaea sea salt from Hawaii is traditionally used as a seasoning and also as a preserving agent. The sea salt is non-processed and contains over 80 trace minerals that are found in sea water. The salt is enriched with iron oxide from harvested red Hawaiian volcanic clay called alae. The salt is harvested by hand.
The salt is formed when sea water mixes with the red volcanic alaea clay found on Hawaiian island of Molokai. When this water evaporates in tidal pools, salt remains. The rise in popularity of this salt has led to the revival of the traditional salt making industry on Molokai Island. Technology is used to speed up the process of the evaporation of the sea water in order to meet the consumer demand for the salt. There are a number of companies that now produce Hawaiian Alaea salt that is sold all over the world. Most of these companies are based on Molokai Island.
The salt can be used in cooking and has a more mellow flavor than table salt. It can also be used to preserve food. It is available in course and fine grain. It is often used to season meat and fish. It is the main seasoning of kalua pork which is one of the central dishes of the Hawaiian luau. There are many different recipes that can incorporate alaea salt due to it’s mellow flavor. For those wanting to recreate memories of a vacation in Hawaii, adding this salt to a dish can bring a distinctive Hawaiian flavor to the food.
Unlike refined table salt, none of the minerals that are found in Hawaiian sea salt are removed before sale so it is a healthier alternative to table salt. The iron oxide that is found in the salt adds a source of digestible dietary iron. Hawaiians believe that the salt has many health benefits due to it’s healing and detoxifying capabilities.
The people of Hawaii use Alaea Hawaiian sea salt for many native Hawaiian customs and ceremonies. It is used as a cleanser and purifier and is traditionally used to bless canoes that are departing on a journey, tools, temples and homes. Hawaii has a strong sea faring tradition and Hawaiians believe that before a canoe or other type of boats is sailed in for the first time it should be blessed. People may also choose to have their home or business premises blessed at different stages in their life, for example when they first move into the premises or when a new baby becomes part of the family home.
A great deal of the Alaea sea salt that is sold in the United States is actually produced in California, not Hawaii. If true Alaea Hawaiian red salt is required then it can be expensive. Customers should research the brand before purchasing to ensure that it is produced in Hawaii. Many people believe that this type of salt is worth the extra expense due to its flavor and the health benefits it has compared to table salt.