A Story from the "Land Down Under"
The Murray River forms part of the 3,750 km (2,330 mi) long combined Murray–Darling river system which drains most of inland Victoria, New South Wales, and southern Queensland.
Murray River Salt: From a Humble Beginning to a Sustainable Future...
Murray River Salt brings a storied history from the “Land Down Under”. Long before online shopping, camels were used to transport groceries in Outback Australia, including salt needed for meat preservation. These camels would travel up to 25 miles from the salt lakes, trading salt up and down the Murray River.
Explorers in Australia in the early 1800’s noted that certain springs in the Outback tasted like brine. Later as more irrigation along the river took place, the orchards desperately needed pure fresh water from the Murray River. To fix the salinity problem, the Government Water Authorities intercept the salt from underground aquifers by pumping and transferring the brine to a salt mitigation site.
Murray River Salt obtained a mining license to utilize these brines and more than a century later, salt from those lakes is more popular than ever, thanks to one family!
Formerly a gypsum miner, Duncan Thomson and his wife Jan started the company SunSalt in 1983, about 44 miles south of Mildura to produce a mineral salt. They first supplied mineral salt blocks for cattle. As the food movement began to blossom, consumers were looking for alternatives to everything, even salt.
With the significant knowledge and expertise gained in extracting value-added salts from brine, the couple started Murray River Salt nearly two decades later. They took on a mining lease at another site to produce both white and gourmet salt, using brine from the Murray River Darling Basin aquifers.
They now utilize the mineral rich waters, which creates a lovely color and taste that people not only love but it helps the environment as well. The process diverts approximately 200 tons of salt per day and stops it entering the Murray River – a water system vital for the environment, agriculture and human consumption.
The salt is then redissolved in the mineral rich aquifer brine which is then heated to create the famous pink colored salt flakes. At dusk, the lakes take on a dreamlike hue as pink and violet shades scatter across the sky. It’s these same colors on the packaging of a product that has become a household name: Murray River Salt.
From its texture, color and taste, there is no other salt around the world like it! Consumers who use Murray River Salt, say the difference is the volume, because it is a very light delicate flake, and less than half the weight of other salts, it is 2/3 less sodium by volume. Murray River Salt also offers a positive impact on the body from the magnesium, calcium and other natural minerals.
Duncan and Jan did not envision that this product would become such an iconic brand from such humble beginnings. In the initial stages, the Thomson’s would work all week at the salt business in Mildura and then jump in their car on Friday night, drive to Melbourne where they set up a stand at the Collingwood Farmers Market to sell their salt and tell their story.
Murray River Salt has gone on to win many awards and has become a staple of chefs including Neil Perry and Kylie Kwong. Master Chef has also filmed an episode at the salt harvest site. Murray River Salt is kosher certified, sustainable and 100% free from contamination! To learn more about Murray River Salt in the USA, visit www.murrayriversaltusa.com
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