On a recent weekday afternoon, a concerned citizen took to our Facebook page thinking we were trying to pull the wool over our fans’ eyes. Our claims of sourcing from an ancient sea in Utah, USA, seemed ludicrous to her. She didn’t explain her reasoning, but we’re guessing it has something to do with the fact that a quick glance at a map will confirm that Utah is decidedly not under the sea. So what’s up with that claim, then? How can we source Real Salt from an ancient sea in the middle of a desert? Are we talking about The Great Salt Lake? (Nope, we aren’t.)
When people hear the words “ancient sea” they usually immediately think of, you know, a sea. Full of water. Like the Red Sea. But the term “ancient sea” often refers to a sea that existed in ancient times and has since dried up and created geologic deposits. In what is now North America, during the Jurassic Period of the Mesozoic Era, there was an inland sea known as the Sundance Sea.
According to experts, the Sundance Sea was full of marine life and drew many dinosaurs and land-dwelling animals to its shores (where modern day scientists have found a wealth of fossils and dinosaur tracks). Geologists believe this ancient sea expanded a handful of times throughout its existence, in a course of what is known as marine transgressions. “Marine transgression” is a scientific way of saying it rose and covered more and higher ground, flooding what had previously been not-sea.
Eventually, the sea dwindled as the landscape changed. When a sea recedes and dries up it leaves things behind, like the salt and minerals that once saturated its waters. In the case of the Sundance Sea, after it abated the land it once sustained was covered by volcanic ash, which sealed its remnants in the earth, keeping them as pristine and unpolluted as they were in prehistoric times.
Today, part of that preserved inland seabed lies underground in central Utah, near the small town of Redmond, about two hours south of Salt Lake City. This is where Real Salt has been sourced for almost 60 years.
And there you have it. While Utah is not currently under water, parts of it were in ancient times. The vestiges of it were sealed away for millennia, leaving us with an immaculate source of vital nutrients and unique flavor that we call Real Salt.