06 April '14..
Salt 424, which gets its name from the fact that the surface of the Dead Sea is 424 meters below sea level, is the first company to bring gourmet salt from the Dead Sea to the Israeli and international market. Less than a year after its launch, the company is selling its products in seven countries, including the United States and Canada, and it already has European chefs as acolytes.
The company produces several different lines. The “natural” series includes simple blends: salt with black pepper, salt with hot chili pepper, as well as smoked salt and “wild fire salt” with jalapeños. The “organic” series features pink salt with organic paprika, or salt with organic spinach, dill, or rosemary. ...
Lior started his career as insurance assessor, “but my midlife crisis hit me early, when I was in my mid-thirties,” he told me. “Since I love food and cooking, I started looking for things to do in the food industry. I managed the Haifa branch of the Agadir Burger chain. Then I opened a pancake house in Haifa. That’s when I took a day trip with my kids to the Dead Sea and by chance met Hoosam Hallak, the Paletstinian owner of a salt factory in the Dead Sea called West Bank Salt. We talked and he invited me to see how he makes salt. Two weeks later I came to visit him.”
From 1956 to 1967 there was a small Jordanian/British potash factory located on Jordanian land where West Bank Salt stands today. “After the Six Day War, Hoosam’s father Othman Hallak made an agreement with the Jordanian government to continue operating the plant, and it reopened as a salt extraction business,” Lior continued. “The company has been producing traditional commercial table salt for the West Bank and Gaza and Jordan ever since. The Dead Sea has a desert climate of 40 degrees Celsius, almost no precipitation, and clean dry air, which results in high-quality salt that is rich in minerals. It’s an amazing thing. At the end of my visit, Hoosam gave me a bag of salt to take home. I took that salt to food technologist Dr. Eli Sigler, who analyzed it in his lab. Dr. Sigler told me that this is the richest mineral salt he ever saw.”