The white treasure extracted from salty lagoons or the surface of the rocks where the sea dries in the sun, is the blossom of salt, the afrina as it is called in Messolonghi, or the“fleur de sel as it is known internationally. Afrina is collected by hand in flakes and packaged without any treatment, refining, or chemical additives. It is considered to be salt of the highest quality.
Afrina is generated on the surface of salt-pans where, as the seawater dries, a fine crust of salt forms. Slowly, and with the help of the wind, this crust drifts and is deposited like foam on the sides of the salt-pans. Then, when this foam has dried, it is collected by specialised workers with wooden tools using a very old technique known to those skilled in gathering it. The afrina is the first harvest of the salt-works. Once it ιs gathered, regular salt collection commences.
The difference in quality between afrina and regular salt is similar to the quality difference between royal jelly and honey. Its appearance is light, like the foam from which it is born. It’s not as salty as regular salt and for this reason, its crisp crystals are ideal for uncooked dishes like salads.