Monday, May 4, 2015

Windmills in Italy?

Windmills in Sicily???

When we think of windmills, we immediately think of the Netherlands. But, did you know that Sicily has its windmills too?

These Dutch-style windmills pump water and grind salt. The saltpans are in the shallow lagoons of Lo Stagnone in Marsala and on the coastline of the towns of Paceco and Trapani along what is known as "The Salt Road." If you're in the area, a stop is well worth it and visit the Salt Museum too.

Some of Europe's oldest salt marshes are in Sicily. Though they do not exist in the numbers of the past, you can still find some of these ancient windmills in operation today. Salt extraction, a technology in Sicily dating back to the Greeks and Romans was a part of Trapani's past and is still used today as a source for obtaining the sea salt preferred by many chefs. 

It is said that the trace elements in the Sicilian salt give it some of its best flavor. The cooking salt from this area in Sicily is sold in Italian specialty shops but doesn't stay on shelves long. Its purity, quality, and unique flavor make it extremely popular with chefs and foodies and so it flies off the shelves quickly.

For more information on the Sicilian saltpans and windmills click  here and here.

- Nina Spitzer

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