Ark of Taste
Pa’akai Traditional Sea Salt from Hawai’i
Traditional Hawai’ian table salt, called Pa'akai, is an unprocessed salt that is rich in natural seawater minerals. The Alaea Pa’akai salt is reddish-brown in color due to the addition of a red volcanic clay called Alaea. This addition does not alter the salt’s taste or smell, but does significantly increase its health benefits; it is composed of over 80 unique minerals. Alaea salt has a delicate and smooth flavor that is mellower and less salty than regular table salt, and its texture is intensely crunchy.
Customarily Alaea sea salt was used by Hawai’ians to cleanse, purify and bless tools, canoes, homes and temples. Alaea is also used in several traditional Hawai’ian dishes such as Kalua Pig, Hawai’ian Jerky and Poke. Because the salt is harvested by hand, it is expensive and hard to find on the mainland. Traditionally, salt making communities have a prohibition for selling this salt — it can only be given, not sold.