The Salt of Cervia is really special. Cervia is a seaside city in the province of Ravenna, which has been as an extensive salt-pan since the Roman times.
History and characteristics of the Salt of Cervia The salt-pan of Cervia, in the province of Ravenna, is surrounded by a 14.2km-long canal stretching over an 827ha area, 1.6km far from the sea. The Salina Camillone is the only pond left of the original 144. The others were destroyed by means of the 1959 urban planning. The Salina Camillone was spared as a memento of the salt collectors’ hard work as well as to show how salt collection was carried out in the past. The cultural association “Civiltà Salinara” organises guided tours of the salt-pan and the Museum of Salt (Musa).
The multiple collection system The Camillone salt-pan supplies only 1 million kg of salt. The quantities may not be large, but the quality of the salt is undoubtedly superior. One of the systems employed is called multiple collection, which consists in subdividing each basin into five sections and collecting the salt from each section to exhaustion within five days. This system prevents the formation of bitter salts which take longer to crystallise. The Camillone salt is a coarse, naturally iodised salt, obtained from natural evaporation. It was deemed a Slow Food Presidium in 2004 and it is considered the most suitable for the production of luncheon meats.
The single collection system Salt is also produced with a single annual collection system, which is mechanised. This process allows the salt to retain all its natural constituents, such as iodine, zinc, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium and potassium. The mild taste is given by the low content in magnesium, calcium and potassium sulphates and magnesium chloride.
Two types of salt In Cervia, two types of salt are produced: Salfiore di Romagna and Salfiore di Cervia. The former is a coarse salt, seawater-washed and sieved to remove the larger granules. By contrast, Salfiore di Cervia is collected in very small quantities (5,000-6,000 pots every year) and is obtained from natural evaporation. It is extraordinarily white and fine-grained. Its quality is the top of the line. A number of companies are now experimenting with seasoned salts, which seem to have a higher flavouring power, thanks to some plants growing spontaneously on the edge of the salt-pan, such as glasswort (Salicornia). The glasswort-seasoned salt is an excellent condiment for meat, fish and sauces.