Shining sun, a large sea, and wind—Kochi has everything necessary to make the best salt. Kochi’s sun-dried salt is made without any heating processes. Moisture is slowly evaporated using only natural energy sources: the heat from the sun and the wind from the mountains and sea. Therefore, unlike salt created through a rapid heating process, the mineral content from the ocean water is retained as the salt gradually crystallizes. This mineral-rich salt offers not just saltiness, but also mild, natural bitterness and sweetness, giving it a richer flavor.
The most common method starts by drawing fresh seawater carried by the Japan Current. That water is then evaporated using wind and sun until it becomes moderately concentrated, making water with a higher salt concentration. It is transferred to a box in a “crystallization house” which reaches 60°C in the summer and slowly dries out and crystallizes by solar energy. At that point, the salt is mixed by hand in order to check its progress before it is finished with skilled techniques. Sun-dried salt is made slowly, taking about one month in the strong summer sun and two months in the winter. There are also salt-making sites where tourists can get hands-on experience. Visitors can watch the manufacturing process, listen to lectures, and do actual salt-making work. They say sun-dried salt tastes even better when you’ve made it yourself.