The magazine Gastronom told about salt from the deposits of Russalt


Salt produced at the deposits of Russalt in the Orenburg, Irkutsk and Astrakhan regions was included in the review of the only salt sommelier in Russia today in the federal publication Gastronom. Yuri Keselman spoke about what kind of salt we eat and where it is mined.

According to the magazine, “according to statistics, about one million tons of salt is eaten in Russia every year. In 2016, the country imposed an embargo on salt. Of the 180 types of geographically unique salt, more than half were banned from importing. Due to this, a few Russian manufacturers got the opportunity to expand the sales market and begin to rearm, install new equipment. Today in Russia there is no monopoly on salt production. Now there are several large companies that occupy the bulk of the market. The largest of them is Russalt, which combines several large industries and places of salt mining, for example, on Lake Baskunchak, in the city of Usolye-Sibirskoye (Irkutsk Region) and the Iletsk deposit (Sol-Iletsk, Orenburg Region)”.

Recall that recently – in April – Yuri Keselman also spoke about the features of the Iletsk salt ON THE FIRST CHANNEL.

To understand the product itself, the sommelier told what types or varieties of salt can be divided into.

  • Extra.99.75% sodium chloride. The most technically advanced salt, but the least suitable for cooking. She has a very strong taste.
  • Top grade. It is 98% sodium chloride, with the remaining 2% trace compounds unique to the mining site that give the salt its flavor and color. Basic salt, universal for cooking.
  • First grade. 97.5% sodium chloride, 2.5% give a completely different taste picture. Such salt can be used for ready-made dishes – such salt is called finishing salt.

In addition to “mass” salt, there is a geographically unique salt that is mined in one particular place and is not found anywhere else in the world. Vivid foreign examples, known to all: Himalayan pink salt, which is mined in a mine under the Salt Mountains in Pakistan, or Persian blue, which is mined in a mine in northern Iran in the province of Semnan. We also have such amazing deposits.

Lake Baskunchak

The salt lake Baskunchak is located in the Akhtubinsky district of the Astrakhan region. The Russalt company produces here more than half of the volume of salt consumed in Russia. Self-planting salt is mined here, that is, which has already settled. At the beginning of the season, while the brine is high, a special harvester runs along the rails that are laid directly on the salt lake, scoops up layers of salt from under the water, dries it, cleans it, etc. The salt is then sent to a factory where it is packaged. It is worth noting that this year the Baskunchak harvester will also be replaced by a new salt pick-up and tractors, which local engineers nicknamed Optimus Prime and Bumble Bee – for their impressive size, manufacturability, versatility and colors. The salt picker will make mining more gentle and environmentally friendly, and the famous rails laid in the salt water of the lake will gradually go out of use at the industrial enterprise.

There are deposits where only evaporated salt is made. In such deposits, the so-called insufficient capacity is an insufficient amount of salt in order to extract it in a quarry way or make a mine. A hole is drilled, water is pumped in, the brine is pumped out, it is cleaned and salt is obtained from it by vacuum evaporation.

Evaporation is a method, so there is geographically unique salt, which is also evaporated. Historically, this happened in places where there is not enough solar energy for natural evaporation, for example, on the White Sea or in Staraya Russa. Evaporated salt is also made at the Russalt enterprise in the city of Usolye-Sibirsky, Irkutsk Region.

Pink Crimean salt

Pink Crimean salt or Saki – is considered handicraft salt, it is produced by a cooperative on the Sasyk-Sivash salt lake in the western part of Crimea near Evpatoria. The water has a pink-raspberry color due to the special mineral composition (it contains about 53 different trace elements), but sometimes microalgae blooms in the lake, and then the water becomes a rich pink-milky color. Such salt is called garden salt, that is, it is precipitated. Water from the lake is driven into a specially built system of pools, where it settles and, as various compounds precipitate, it is gradually purified. As a result, only brine remains, which is distilled into the last pool. From a gastronomic point of view, it is a geographically unique salt that tastes great. The larger the crystal of unrefined craft salt, the more moisture it has inside.

Altai pink salt

Similar to the Crimean pink salt is also produced in Altai – on the mineral lake Burlinsky on the border with Kazakhstan, which is known for the fact that the density of water in it is higher than in the Dead Sea. The pink color of the salt is due to microorganisms that live in the water. This salt is considered one of the first to be specially supplied to the table of Catherine the Great. Today, pink Altai salt is not so popular, it is mined in small quantities, and Burlinskaya salt does not reach the central part of Russia.

Dagestan salt

Salt has been made in the Dagestan village of Kvankhidatli since ancient times. There is a salty stream from which water is extracted and poured onto the sand. As the sandy base becomes saturated with moisture, salt begins to crystallize on the surface of the sand. These salt crystals are harvested by hand. This method of production was used here due to the fact that there was not enough sunlight for the salt to evaporate naturally. The taste of Kvankhidatli salt is special, with bitterness, due to the composition of microelements.

According to the magazine “Gastronom”