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Hawaii Island salt harvest hearkens back to centuries-old practices

Hawaii Island salt harvest hearkens back to centuries-old practices
Sea salt comes in several varieties. The variety gathered in the Salt Harvesting Experience is flaky compared with the typical crystals found in table salt. (Four Seasons Resort Hualalai)

Visitors to Hawaii Island can now harvest some of that salt in the same way natives did in centuries past.

The Salt Harvesting Experience at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai is the newest of the hotel’s “Only at Hualalai” activities. The resort is along the the island’s Kona Coast.

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Guests take a short hike along the beach to a flat where the salt gathers in “pens” carved in lava rock. There, spoons are used to collect salt in fabric bags.

“Our Hawaiian ancestors lived off of Hawaii's bountiful resources and in turn respected and honored our land and ocean,” said Earl Regidor, the resort’s cultural center manager. “The natural salt the ocean provided was a cornerstone of Hawaiian living, used for food preservation, cooking, medicine and more.”

Using the same techniques native Hawaiians used hundreds of years ago, a woman gathers sea salt along Hawaii Island's Kona Coast.
Using the same techniques native Hawaiians used hundreds of years ago, a woman gathers sea salt along Hawaii Island's Kona Coast. (Four Seasons Resort Hualalai)

With culinary uses in mind, participants return to the hotel for a cooking class during which a member of the restaurant team demonstrates how flaky sea salt is dried and then used in the preparation of various dishes.

The “Salt Harvesting Experience” costs $450 a person.

The resort’s spa uses seven varieties of sea salt in its “Salts of the Ocean” treatment. The 80-minute session is costs $285.

Both experiences are for hotel guests only.

Info and reservations: (808) 325-8000

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