Lomawai Village: still making sea salt using traditional methods

If you are staying in the Nadi/Sigatoka/Coral Coast area, then here is a fascinating day trip for you. Lomawai village is possibly the only place in Fiji where sea salt is still being created in the traditional way.

What makes a trip out to Lomawai village so special, is that it is not part of the "normal" tourist attractions: you won't find brochures in the resorts, there are (at this stage) no organized tours, so you get to experience something that very few tourists see. Not only is the process of making sea salt something unique and different, the villagers are friendly and helpful, and will go out of their way to make this a day to remember.

Tip: take some boiled sweets with you...the village kids will love your forever!

How the salt is made

lomawai village salt makers Two of the villagers that make the salt in Lomawai
It's easy to take salt for granted. You probably get a bag of it when you are at the supermarket, and don't even look at the label to see what's been added to it. An anti caking agent sometimes used in table salt is Sodium ferrocyanide. I don't know about you, but I'm not so sure I want to be eating anything that has the word cyanide in it.

Here is a quick overview of the salt making process, carried out in Lomawai village. Pure, natural, and with no added chemicals.

  • salt water collected from a deep sink hole, out on the lagoon
  • 100 liters at a time is boiled dry, leaving the salt residue (100 litres makes 3kg of salt)
  • This is heated further, to drive out excess moisture
  • Salt is laid out on mats to bleach in the sun
  • Packaging is done using woven mangrove stem baskets

How does it compare to store bought salt?

lomawai village-salt

I was a little skeptical of the claims made, before I tried it. They tell me there have been tests done on ths salt, and it does in fact contain minerals and properties not found in store bought (iodized) salt.

I tried a small pinch, just to see if it tasted any different than what I'm used to. And there is a world of difference,compared to salt that contains the artificial additives and chemicals! Soooo much better, you can actually taste that this is pure and natural. I took a small basket home with me (customs were fine with the packaging) and we use it in a lot of our cooking. You can certainly taste the difference. I will most definitely be getting more on our next trip to Fiji.

The villagers say to put a small pinch of this salt under your tongue at night, to relieve stress and give a good night's sleep.

Read more about the Lomawai village salt making methods ands traditions.

How to get there

Lomawai village is located roughly halfway between Nadi and Sigatoka, on the coastal side of the Queens highway. Any taxi driver will know the way, or if you have a rental car, look for the signage on the main road.

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