History and traditions
The local residents of Pomorie, founded under the name Anhialo, had the knowledge of salt production since ancient times. The first facts date back to the 5th century BC. Along with the the traditional for the region fishing, viticulture and wine production, salt extraction was a determining factor for the economic development of the region for many years. Because of the unique curative qualities of the naturally extracted sea salt the town nowadays has become a modern balneological and spa seaside resort.
Due to the high salinity of the water in the lake Atanasovsko, at the beginning of the last century the industrial salt production from the waters of the coastal wetland began. The extraction of salt, which even nowadays is carried out by traditional natural technology, is environmentally friendly is also an important prerequisite for the wide biodiversity of the region.
Salt works near Burgas and Pomorie produce more than 50,000 tons of prime quality sea salt annually.
The salt content in the Black Sea is 13 grams per liter. Dominant substances in almost equal amounts are magnesium and sodium chloride.
The method of salt production has not changed much since it started. Except the mechanization, which supports heavy physical work, everything is the same.
Sea salt production
The water from the sea enters huge shallow pools using special channels for pre-enrichment. After evaporation of more than the half of the water, what has left is rich enough in salt to enter the next pools called crystallizers. These are square fields with size nearly 100×100 meters. At summer time, crystallizers are supplemented repeatedly depending on temperature and precipitation. At the end of the season, the layer of the salt formed at the bottom is 5 to 10 cm thick. In very favourable years it has gone up to 15 cm and even above.
A curious fact is that the layer of salt is as hard as concrete. The salt is subtracted by means of lye (concentrated seawater), and is carried out to the washing equipment. This all happens with manual labour. No chemicals that assist the evaporation of water or the processing of the salt are used. The whole process is very environmentally friendly and clean. The washed and collected salt is gathered in heaps, with a shape of a truncated pyramid called bohor. The construction of the pyramid with the correct size and slope is as hard as creating a masterpiece of art. The top layer of bohor, due to rain and sun, forms a crust that can keeps salt intact over the years.
The use of the salt in everyday life is varied. First, of course, it is used for cooking needs. Thanks to its healing qualities salt is used as a cure, as well. In winter it is very useful to protect the roads from freezing or for snow melting. An important application of the salt is its use as a preservative. The list of application is endless.