Visitors to Hawaii Island can now take part in a new salt harvesting experience offered at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai that informs participants on the techniques used to extract the salt from the shoreline ponds, and using what they find in their own cooking and well being.
The salt harvesting experience first guides guests through the ancient Hawaiian methods of collecting salt, before incorporating the salt in a cooking class.
Native Hawaiians traditionally harvested sea salt for a variety of purposes, including seasoning and preserving food, religious and ceremonial purposes, and as medicine. Sea salt can be collected from rocky shoreline pools, where solar evaporation does much of the work and Native Hawaiians also harvested sea salt on a larger scale through the use of man-made shallow clay ponds.
"Our Hawaiian ancestors lived off of Hawaii's bountiful resources and in turn respected and honored our land and ocean," Earl Regidor, Kaupulehu Cultural Center manager, said in a statement. "The natural salt the ocean provided was a cornerstone of Hawaiian living."
The experience kicks off with a short hike to salt flats located adjacent to Four Seasons Resort Hualalai. Along the way, guests learn how the salt flats were created and about the importance of salt in Hawaiian culture. Using spoons and fabric bags, similar to what was used hundreds of years ago, participants then harvest sea salt from pens carved into the lava rock. Next, guests get a private, interactive cooking class showcasing how the salt is dried and used for cooking, including a tasting of variations of sea salt.
Additionally, the local fresh salts are used in the "Salts of the Ocean" body treatment at Hualalai Spa, which incorporates seven varieties of Hawaiian sea salt and seven unique Hawaiian essences.
The Salt Harvesting experience costs $450 per person for up to 20 people. The Salts of the Ocean body treatment costs $285 for an 80-minute treatment.