Black Salt Producers of Kostroma

Russia - Salt

The history of black salt is centuries old and dates back when the Troize-Sergiev monastery founded the first salt-mine in the north of the country in the Kostroma district. It is also called chetvergovaya (literally “ made on Thursday”), because it was prepared on Maundy Thursday and used to season Easter meals. With the coming of the communist regime, which almost interrupted any religious event, the production of black salt ceased and the traditional preparation was forgotten.
The traditional method of preparation has been recreated thanks to the help of a woman living in a neighbouring village. Rock salt is mixed with rye flour and put in a linen bag, then surrounded by birch wood, put in the oven and burnt. The resulting mix shaped like a hard ball is then put into a crusher and broken into pieces and after that it is sieved. The community of black salt producers is situated in a natural area, far from big industrial centres. The use of birch wood for burning doesn’t damage the ecosystem of the area, as the felling operations are planned and authorized to limit the expansion of the forest. Ten people belong to the community, five women and five men, aged from 18 to 40, who represent different nationalities and different religious creeds.

Production Area