Meet Björn Steinar Jónsson, the founder of Saltverk –
The word remote might have been invented to describe the Westfjords of Iceland. After finishing my studies I wanted to create something that honored and built upon traditional Icelandic food methods in a sustainable way. In 2011, Reykjanes in the Westfjords attracted me exactly for those particular reasons – its remoteness, natural resources and history of salt making.
But the tradition was not lost forever – in 2011 Saltverk was founded and reestablished salt making in Iceland. Making sustainable, hand harvested products of high quality is the passion that has guided us along the way. Today, Saltverk salt is used in many of the best restaurants and in the homes of food enthusiasts around the world.
Saltverk is a newly established company which makes artisan flake sea salt, using a two centuries old method, in the Westfjords of Iceland. It is located on a small peninsula, Reykjanes, separating two fjords, surrounded by high mountains. Reykjanes has some of the cleanest seawater imaginable which is the raw material used for making sea salt, where the North Arctic Ocean stream goes down the bay of Isafjardardjup. On Reykjanes exists a lively wild life, consisting of whales, seals and birds. Not to mention the geysers, which the place derives its name from, that are still active and spread all over Reykjanes.
During this whole process we use 206 °F ( 93°C ) hot geyser water from the hot springs of Reykjanes, where we use it in the pre-heating, boiling and drying process of our salt. Geothermal energy is the sole energy source used, which means that during our whole process we leave zero carbon footprints on the environment and no CO2 and CH4 emissions.
We pump the sea-water to open pans where we pre-heat it until it becomes a strong brine, a salinity level of 17-20%. Then we boil the brine until white crystals appear on the surface and slowly fall to the bottom of the pan. Thereafter we draw the pan and drain any remaining liquid. Then it is dried and put into packaging.
Saltverk is one of the few entirely sustainable flaky sea salt producers in the world. The flaky sea salt are handmade pyramid-like crystal salt flakes that contain the flavor and taste of the Nordic region from which the raw materials used in it are derived. Saltverk Sea Salt includes minerals necessary for the human body and embodies calmness reminiscent of the location of its tranquil production surroundings.