Salt production has for a long time been one of the major industries of the coastal Pays de la Loire. The manmade salt marshes are areas connected to the sea via a series of channels, so that water can be let in at the highest tides. Because salt-making requires the sun’s rays to evaporate the water, the salt-making season runs from June to September each year.

The seawater is run through a series of basins, becoming more and more concentrated by natural evaporation as it goes, finally crystallising.

The salt is collected by a “palaudier”; a worker who uses a wooden rake to pull the salt onto a platform set slightly above the level of the final basin.

The surface salt crystals are small, white and creamy, whilst those at the bottom of the salt layer are in the form of large greyish crystals. An average harvest for one basin will be about 1500kg of grey salt and 80kg of white per year.

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