Only a few days left to go before the end of April Squares so I thought I’d share something rather different today, using the idiom ‘Under the Big Top’.

topping 2

Have you worked out what it is? If not take another look at the header as that is a big clue! It is salt. Salt, and in particular the flor de sal, was once Portugal’s white gold and essential to many economic treaties. topping 1It can only be harvested by hand. However in modern times salt-making is not as lucrative as it once was, and consequently many of Portugal’s traditional salterns have fallen into decline, and those that remain are mostly harvested by machines. However you will still find commercially active salterns in the Algarve, producing flor de sal. If you want to learn more about this white gold click here to visit a post I wrote a couple of years ago on my Portuguese blog. by the way none of the salt in these pics is flor de sal. It just left overs from the harvest!

114 thoughts

    1. I don’t think I have covered it there either. Sorry! The really good stuff I don’t think there are any leftovers, whereas the industrial salt such as that depicted here simply gets washed back into the pans by the rain or lays on the path forever!

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  1. I thought it was clouds! Interesting post. Why is it called flor de sal – do the granules look like flowers? What is the difference between “flor de sal” and simply “sal”? (Sal is probably the refined kind that we put on food, right?) I wanted so much to go to Portugal this year but the pandemic killed my plans. I hope we can go in 2021! Do you live there now? Someday you and I will have to bater um papo em portugues!

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    1. It means flowers of the sea, both the French and Portuguese use this description. Do hope you make it to Portugal in 2021, it is such an amazing country

      I don’t live there full time. We tend to spend the winter months only there, but Jo is there full time 🙂


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