Djibouti Pearl is small enough to fit in a salt grinder, and the salt's assertive, somewhat wild flavor makes well-suited to such general purpose salting. But the real fun comes in using the salt in its natural, pearly wholeness. Scatter grilled or broiled seafood with Djibouti Pearl. Let some intermingle with the juices of a steak, a lobster salad, or what the heck, an oyster.
The viscous waters of Lake Assal in Djibouti (on the horn of Africa nestled between Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia) are the second most saline in the world, and its shores have long been the shimmering destination of the salt trade. Most Assal salt is scraped or dug from the shore, loaded on camels, and transported inland. But virtually unknown to the outside world, a very different, very unusual salt can be found. Wade into the waters, bend over, scoop the salt that has accumulated there, and behold. They're spheres.
This shape is virtually, though not utterly unique in the world of salt - the freak result of wind, waves, heat, and water pressure agitating crystals as they form in the lake's super-saturated brine. Crystals form, clump on to other crystals, get glued together with magnesium and other salts present in the water, roll around, and slowly snowball and whittle and polish themselves into spheres.
Crystals range in size from the finest caviar to the most daunting softball. Nature does this all by itself, with no consultation or assistance from humans. Locals then harvest the salt crystals in the traditional manner. Families work together, with the men wading deep into the lake to collect the pearls in baskets. The salt spheres are then hand sorted by size, with the largest crystals comprising rarest finds. After drying, the salt is bagged and delivered to the port.
- Taster Jar - 1.3oz/38g
- Small Jar - 2.8oz/80g
- Large Jar - 9.6oz/273g
- 1lb Bag - 16oz/454g