Eleni’s Grandfather, Manolis, took his son in law, Jianiss salt collecting for the first time. Back then, it was two men & a donkey and as much salt as they could carry. Over the rocky terrain to best salt pools. A generation later, Jianiss, took Harry collecting for the first time. A beautiful rite of passage.
There’s salt history here.
For about about 50 years, up until 1960 it was illegal to collect salt.
The Greek state had taken a loan from England that it was unable to pay back. They became the single distributor of salt, sold in government shops called Monopolies with a special tax to pay off the loan.
And so, the villagers created a secret salt road, down through the mountains from Zakros to Kato Zakros, leading straight to the very same pools. A way to still hand harvest those beautiful salt flakes.
Long before that, the Minoans were harvesting sea salt in the area, all the way back in 1500 BC.
Salt collection has stood the test of time. Still as simple and natural as it’s always been. Directly from the sea to the rocks, dried by the sun and collected by locals.
Salt & Oil has been used to preserve food here for generations and the stories show a life still connected to nature. In our own small way, we want to preserve the culture, stories and memories of Zakros through the food we share.
We’ve just collected our salt for the year, as much as we can carry and we can’t wait share it with you.