Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea
(quote by Pythagoras, a Hawaiian-in-spirit who probably would have gotten a lot less done if he could have gone surfing all the time, and wouldn't have been taken seriously anyway wearing a hula skirt like that)
Isn't it great when sacred ritual substances go on clearance at Target?
Otherwise, I might never have gotten myself a jar of alaea salt.
Also known as Hawaiian sea salt to us mainlanders, it is salt rich in oceanic minerals that is harvested from the tidal pools of the island of Kauai. It is then mixed with volcanic red clay (which is high in iron oxide), resulting in a distinctive pink color.
Considered to be a sacred item because it originates from both the sea and earth, alaea salt was originally used only in rituals, such as traditional ceremonies to heal, or cleanse and bless homes and belongings.
Now, however, it is used in Hawaii as table salt, while far from the islands, professional chefs, gourmet-types, beauty spa clients, and other snobby people will pay incredibly inflated prices for what is still essentially NaCl (whereas I paid $2.50 for 4 ounces). It's supposed to have a more mellow flavor than other types of salt, but it's quite subtle and not something I noticed particularly.
So what does one do with salt that looks like Bac'n Bits? We haven't figured it out yet. I guess it will just sit there until an appropriate dish comes along or something needs to be ritually cleansed.