In the shimmering turquoise waters of Hawaii, a remarkable treasure, Hawaiian Alae Salt, is harvested. This is not your typical salt; it carries a vibrant, earthy red hue and a rich history rooted deeply in the culinary and spiritual culture of the Hawaiian people.
The Natural Red Color: Alae Clay's Magic
Alae salt's distinctive red color doesn't stem from any chemical additives or artificial coloring. Its rouge hue is naturally derived from volcanic Hawaiian alae clay, rich in iron oxide. This clay, deemed sacred in Hawaiian culture, is found abundantly throughout the islands and gives the salt its unique, rich brick-red color, visually setting it apart from other salts around the globe.
Hawaiian alae salt is traditionally made by evaporating seawater in large, shallow clay or earthen ponds. The alae clay is mixed into the water, allowing the salt crystals to form and absorb the minerals from the clay as the water evaporates. This process not only imbues the salt with its unique color but also enriches it with additional minerals and gives it a distinctive subtle flavor, unlike any other salt.
Culinary Delight: From the Sea to the Plate
Hawaiian alae salt's unique flavor profile and attractive color have secured its place in the culinary world. With its mild, earthy flavor, alae salt is the perfect finishing salt for a variety of dishes.
Enhancing Traditional Hawaiian Dishes
In Hawaiian cuisine, alae salt is a star ingredient in the traditional dish 'Kalua Pig,' a slow-cooked pork dish reminiscent of pulled pork. The salt is rubbed onto the pork before it's cooked, imparting its unique earthy flavor to the meat.
Seafood and Vegetables
Alae salt shines when used with seafood dishes, thanks to its origin in the Pacific waters. It brings out the flavors of fish, shrimp, and other seafood, creating a tantalizing taste sensation. Sprinkle it over grilled vegetables or salads, and the salt will enhance their natural flavors while adding a visual treat with its distinctive color.
Yes, even in sweets! A small pinch of alae salt on chocolate or caramel-based desserts can create a beautiful balance of flavors, the slight saltiness perfectly complementing the sweetness.
Purification Rituals: Salt's Sacred Role
In addition to its culinary applications, Hawaiian alae salt has deep cultural significance in spiritual and purification rituals.
Hawaiians traditionally have used alae salt in blessings and cleansings, a practice traced back to ancient times. It's considered a sacred substance and is often used to purify tools, homes, canoes, and temples.
Hawaiian alae salt is also used to bless the land for new construction projects and is sometimes sprinkled around homes for protection. Even in personal rituals, a sprinkle of alae salt over oneself is believed to cleanse one's spiritual energy.
It's amazing to see how this natural, vibrant red salt, simple in its creation but rich in its applications, plays such a significant role in both culinary and spiritual practices in Hawaii. From enriching the flavor of traditional Hawaiian dishes to being an integral part of purification rituals, alae salt truly is a Hawaiian treasure worth discovering.
So, whether you're exploring new flavors in the kitchen or seeking a spiritual cleansing ritual, consider Hawaiian alae salt. Its natural red hue, earthy flavor, and rich cultural significance are sure to make your experiences more vibrant and meaningful.
AND if you are like me, you may have also learned somewhere along in life, to throw salt over your shoulder or sprinkle at your home entrances! Here's a little more about those practices, that are not unique to one culture, and usually are for protection, purficication and luck!
Salt Over the Shoulder
The act of throwing salt over your shoulder has its roots in several cultures, most prominently recognized in Western societies. The custom is typically tied to the idea of warding off bad luck or evil spirits.
In ancient times, salt was a precious commodity, often used as a method of payment. It was so valued that to spill it was considered bad luck, as it was essentially wasting a valuable resource. The over-the-shoulder toss came as a way to counteract this ill fortune. The most common version of the tradition instructs to toss a pinch of salt over your left shoulder, into the face of the devil, who folklore suggests lurks there.
While not everyone today views salt as a precious commodity or fears an over-the-shoulder devil, this tradition has been maintained in many cultures, often carried out subconsciously or as a playful act after spilling salt.
Salt at the Doors
The custom of sprinkling salt at the entrances of homes, both front and back, is another widely observed practice linked to spiritual protection and purification. The belief is that salt, often viewed as a pure substance, has the power to ward off negative energy or evil spirits.
In various cultures and spiritual practices, including Feng Shui, Paganism, and some branches of Christianity, it's common to see salt used as a protective barrier. By sprinkling it across doorways or around the property's perimeter, it's believed to create a spiritual 'boundary' that negative forces cannot cross. The symbolic act of laying down this barrier can also provide psychological comfort and a sense of safety for the inhabitants of the home.
In some cultures, new homeowners might also sprinkle salt in the corners of rooms to ward off evil spirits or to bless the house with prosperity and peace.
Just as Hawaiian Alae salt is used in blessing rituals and for protection in Hawaiian culture, these practices with salt reflect its deep significance beyond just being a flavor enhancer. Across the world and through the ages, salt continues to hold a symbolic place in our kitchens and our rituals.
Lastly! How to Use Salt to Energetcially Clean your Gems and Jewelry!
Using salt for the purification and cleansing of gemstones and jewelry is a practice found in various cultures and spiritual traditions. Salt is thought to absorb and neutralize negative energies, making it an excellent choice for cleansing these items. Here's a simple step-by-step guide to using salt for purifying your gemstones and jewelry:
Select a Container: Choose a glass or ceramic container that can comfortably hold your gemstones or jewelry pieces.
Fill with Salt: Fill the container with sea salt, Hawaiian alae salt, or any other kind of natural salt to cover the bottom. The type of salt isn't critical; what's important is the symbolic act of using an element of the earth (salt) for purification.
Place Your Items: Gently place your gemstones or jewelry on top of the salt. If you're cleansing multiple items, make sure they're not touching. This will ensure each piece gets fully surrounded by the salt for thorough cleansing.
Cover with Salt: Optionally, you can pour additional salt into the container until your items are completely covered. Follow your heart through this practice.
Let Them Rest: Leave your gemstones or jewelry in the salt for a few hours, or even better, overnight. During this time, the salt will absorb the negative energies from the items, effectively cleansing them. Jason likes to do this under a full moon, so you can decide what extras you want to add to your process.
Remove and Cleanse: After the purification period, remove your items from the salt. Brush off any remaining salt particles and rinse them under running water to wash away the absorbed energies. As you do this, visualize the water further cleansing the items, washing away any negativity.
Dry and Store: Thoroughly dry your gemstones or jewelry before storing them. They are now cleansed and ready to use!
*A word of caution: Some softer or porous stones (like malachite, selenite, halite, calcite, lepidolite, and angelite) can be damaged by water or salt. Also, jewelry pieces with delicate settings or those made of certain materials might not be suitable for this method. For such items, consider an alternative energy cleansing method, like smudging with sage or using sound cleansing with a singing bowl.
Remember, intention is the most important part ofthese practices. Through the process, hold a clear intention in your mind of cleansing and purifying your items, letting go of all stored negative energies, and making them ready for positive new experiences. I usually vision a golden shower of light surrounding me as I release all that doesn't serve my highest good. Good luck!