SALT OF THE HEARTH. There’s this quaint little salt factory found along a stretch of seashore in Damortis, La Union. You can’t miss it, it squats right on top of the old PNR North Main Line that, if you followed it for days for some crazy reason only you would know, ultimately leads to the Tutuban Central Train Station in Tondo, Manila. The man who decided it was okay to built a salt factory on top of a train track has since passed away. Only he would know why. But before he made salt in this crazy location, he made a living as station master at the defunct Damortis Train Station located only a kilometer away.

Back to the salt factory. When the North Line stopped running in the ’80s, the station master found himself out of a job. He looks at his family, he looks at his PNR-assigned house by the sea along the tracks, and he says “SALT!” His daughter and her husband make it now. It’s a hard way to make a living, Andie and I have seen it for ourselves. First, chunks of dirty rock salt are hauled by boat from far-off Bolinao town, way across the water from the other end of Pangasinan province. The raw salt is boiled down in water pumped from the nearby ocean. Stir, stir, stir and scoop, stir, stir, stir and scoop—eight hours of that to get a batch done, and then another. It’s a hot and tedious job—and because they use rice hull as fuel, a very sooty one too. But the product?! The whitest, clearest salt you will ever see, the saltiest-tasting salt you will ever taste. If you want iodine as required by law, they’ll squirt the chemical on the baskets, but what’s the fun in that? This is old-fashioned salt, just the way it is for our grandmothers. And if it’s good enough for their excellent kitchens, it’s good enough for yours.

We’ve taken a few sacks last month, sold out quickly. Last night we filled the car until its suspension groaned and crawled it back to Manila. Here now and proudly at RuRi House, Damortis Traditional Sea Salt.

GROUP BUY: DAMORTIS TRADITIONAL SEA SALT. We are looking for 30 members to buy 4 KG of traditional Sea Salt and pay only P300.

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Weight 4 kg


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