The River Reed Salt is a unique type of salt that is solely found and produced in the African continent in Kenya from the river reeds that grow along the Kenyan river, Nzoia River. It was invented in the 17th century by the Bukusu people when they migrated from the area of the Congo River.
The Production of The River Reed Salt
The uniqueness of the River Reed Salt is the way it is produced. The 'Bukusu' reeds that grow along the river are collected and then burnt to obtain the ash. The burnt ash is then placed in a vessel that has drainage in it for the water to slowly pass over and fall into the vessel underneath. Once soluble, the solution is then filtered and boiled to obtain the salt crystals which are then packaged in banana leaves which is the traditional way for the end product.
The production of the Reed Salt is however since been limited due to the high demand and its time-consuming process. Some of the areas in Western Kenya have been cut off completely from the main salt routes.
The community of Bukusu have since opted for a different plant Muchua which is a variety of thin reed and its harvesting time is between September and March, it can grow up to a height of 2 metres long. Its method of preparation is more similar to the traditional River Reed Salt, although the use of the Muchua Plant requires a more delicate method as the seeds are burnt and the ash remnants are mixed with hot water and then boiled into a huge pan. After the evaporation of liquids, a pure salt mixture remains at the bottom which is dried up overnight. The addition of pepper is essential for the spicy flavour of the salt.
Why is The River Reed Salt so Expensive?
The River Reed Salt is almost Twenty-Two (22) times the price of normal sea salt in the Kenyan countryside. One tablespoon of river reed salt amounts to about $1 in Kenya whereas normal sea salt is costing only four (4) cents for the locals. It is regarded as one of the most expensive salts in the world.
The producers of the River Reed Salt narrated that it takes a whole lot of effort and amount of time for them to produce the fine quality salt. It takes over a week to draw out the salt from the river reeds that develop alongside the Nzoia River.
Buyers are singing praises of the uniqueness of the salt because of its saltiness and it is highly effective and recommended and umani-like which is from Japan. The texture of the reed salt is smooth and easily soluble in almost all cordon bleu, especially a dish with meat.
Harvesting the reed salt from the river requires lots of cautiousness as injuries do occur in the process of harvesting.
The River Reed Salt's reason for its expensiveness is due to the work that entails for it to be finely produced and it consists of less potassium in it as it is narrated by one of the Kenyan harvesters, Andrew Wanyonyi Tikanga. The salt is being used in Kenyan hotels and other hotels around the world and is highly recommended by many.
The River Reed Salt is amazing and its popularity is growing because of its medicinal values and very different from the normal standard salts. The exotically-weird production process of the reed salt is what boggles people's minds. The River Reed Salt consists of potassium chloride and not sodium chloride of regular sea salt, which is the reason for its characteristic tangy, sharp and yet mellow taste.
Share This Post On
Leave a comment
You need to login to leave a comment. Log-in