In the valley leading to the lost city of the Incas, a unique salt harvest has taken place for two thousand years. Like a vast marble staircase, the terraces of salt (some 4,200 of them), tumble down the hillside towards the town. There are subtle greens, ochres, greys & pinks. Some pools glisten white like snow with first-grade salt ready to be harvested. Others are tawny puddles still being warmed by the sun.
These terraces lay near Maras, in the Sacred Valley between Cuzco and the lost city of Machu Picchu, a remote location that has been shielded from pollution for centuries. Its salt has been exploited since Inca times, and the same families have worked these salty steps solely by hand for more than a thousand years.
The first time I heard about Peruvian pink salt was at an Ayurveda course I took with Sacha Barrio, a renowned Chinese medicine doctor in Lima, a couple years ago. He presented these very pretty pink crystals to the class, as the healthiest and most nutritious salt in the planet, and told us it could only be found in the Andes and the Himalayas. Lucky us! Right? Not really… Why most Peruvians (including me) didn’t know -let alone consume- this salt, was a big enigma to me.
A few months later, now living in NYC, I realized that the Himalayan version of this secret wonder seasoning, was not such a big secret after all, and could be found and bought in most food stores. But with very few exceptions in some specialty stores, its Andean counterpart was, again, nowhere to be found. Until one month ago I was walking by the stands of a Peruvian food fair, and I bumped into 2 smiley and chatty ladies called Tatiana and Maria Claudia, promoting Booming Gourmet, their brand of artisan Andean pink salt.
Being the nutritional and holistic geek that I am, I was delighted listening to them talk about the very special high vibration of this salt, and that its source goes through an area lined with rose quartz that has healing benefits. They didn’t need to say much more to convince me that this is the salt I need to have in my kitchen counter. But in case you do, here are some other health benefits of this mineral powerhouse:
* It helps stabilize and regulate heartbeats, thanks to its magnesium and sodium content.
* Its sodium is essential for proper muscular function.
* Good quality salt helps minimize the effects of stress by maintaining proper melatonin, serotonin, and tryptamine levels in the brain.
* It helps remove cellular acidity, especially in the brain and kidneys.
* It helps prevent osteoporosis.
* It provides a buffer for blood sugar levels to help prevent diabetes or to help those who are diabetic use less insulin.
* It provides iodine in a natural setting, making it easier for your thyroid to absorb it and to regulate the endocrine system.
On top of all this, it gives a delicious taste and crunch to all your food. I’m now on a mission to use Peruvian salt in most of my meals, and so far, I’m loving it! (I’m sure my body is too). If you want to give this superfood a try, Tatiana and Maria Claudia are giving away a bottle of Booming Gourmet to the first 10 comments on this post. Tell us, what salt do you usually use, and why?