Sel des Alpes, the Swiss Alpine Salt
Our Swiss Alpine Salt has been preserved in the heart of the Swiss mountains, the Alps, for over 200 million years. Carefully extracted using crystal clear mountain water, our white gold is crystallized by dissolution using state-of-the-art technology and green energy from our own hydroelectric power plant. For more than 500 years, this process, combining tradition and modernity, has allowed us to produce a salt that has preserved all of its purity.
About 200 million years ago, the terrain was completely different than it is today. The Alps did not exist yet and a shallow sea covered all of Europe. The tropical climate that prevailed in those times lead to the slow evaporation of the water, leaving salt deposits behind. Later, when the Alps started to rise up, their stone waves swallowed up these masses of salt and the innumerable layers of marl and limestone that covered them. Under the combined effect of high pressures and intense deformations, which then reigned in the depths of the earth, these precious crystals began to mix with the surrounding rock. Thus protected, they slept sheltered from all pollution for millions of years… until mountain water came to slowly wash them off.
One of the purest salts in the world
Sprinkling our pure Swiss Alpine Salt to enhance the flavor of all your dishes will give you the certainty of adding the last finishing touch it deserves. This immaculate white gold will convince you and your guests of the value you place on all the smallest details, as it is well known, the place where the beauty of all things resides.
No matter what you salt, salt it with Swiss purity.
A Swiss story
One must go back to the 15th century to locate the discovery of the salty spring of Bex, a small Swiss town, situated at the foot of a majestic alpine circus a stone throw from Lake Geneva. A region that seems to have been blessed by the gods with its special geography from the Rhône River to the Glaciers, its colorful vineyards, its exceptionally good water, its favorable climate and, of course, its salt mine.
The abundance of salt nowadays has made us forget that, for a long time, salt was rare and worth almost as much as gold. It took about three centuries of effort, perseverance, sweat and passion of hundreds of miners to reach within the heart of the mountain to collect the treasured white alpine gold. Every day, these men would go down the mine to extract salty stone fragments, creating, over the centuries, a vast labyrinth of tunnels. This underground world, with its silence, its darkness and its profound mystery, always exercised a fascination for travelers. Still today, visitors can discover the most spectacular and characteristic elements of the various excavation techniques used from the digging of the first gallery back in 1684 and meet the last operative miners of Switzerland.
A high quality Swiss product
Over the centuries, the extraction techniques have evolved continuously. At the beginning, the evaporation of the brine was done in simple stoves suspended above fireplaces. Hence, a tremendous quantity of wood, collected in the nearby forest, needed to be used. In 1916, Antoine-Paul Piccard, a great-grand uncle of the legendary aeronaut Bertrand Piccard, revolutionized the salt extraction process by inventing, in Bex, a method using thermocompression. This technique, still in use today, compresses the steam produced by the boiling brine in order to increase its temperature before reinjecting it in the process. This invention allowed substantial energy savings. With the commissioning of our own hydroelectric power plant in 1943, the little remaining energy needed for the extraction of salt has, thus, been fully covered in a sustainable way.
Furthermore, the Saline de Bex can count on highly qualified employees that share the company core values: professionalism, innovation, reliability and respect of tradition. Values, we believe, that are essential to produce a salt of an outstanding quality and that lives up to Switzerland’s excellent worldwide reputation. Our philosophy, based on continuous improvement and technological innovation, is the key to our success and to create a positive impact throughout the production chain, from miners to customers.