Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture

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Monday, January 18, 2016

Senegal's Natural Strawberry Pink Lake

There are eight remarkable pink lakes around the world; Lake Retba in Senegal East Africa is at its height of rosy pinkness during the dry season between November and June.



Lake Retba in Senegal East Africa is at its height of rosy pinkness during the dry season between November and June.
Mining salt from Lake Retba pink lake
In Africa, there is a natural lake the color of strawberries, Lake Retba or Le Lac Rose lies in Senegal one hour from its capital city Dakar. The lake is named for its pink waters caused by an edible, salt-loving micro-algae dunaliella salina.

The natural strawberry pink lake of East Africa’s Senegal is a world famous tourist attraction. However Lake Retba pink waters is a source of income for African families who mine her salt. It is estimated 1,000 people work around Le Lac Rose collecting 24,000 tons of the salt each year.

Over half of the salt from Lake Retba is exported throughout Africa. With a maximum depth of less than ¼ mile, it contains a significant amount of salt that is labored by salt miners and exported throughout the world for cooking, leather goods and deicing roads. 

Salt was not always convenient to buy as it is now. Everyone needed salt, but only a few people could mine the precious salt. Below are 20 uses for ordinary salt from cooking, cleaning and personal care.

Twenty uses for salt 

1.   Add several tablespoons of salt to a gallon of warm water to clean windows.
2.   Adding a little salt to the water will help your cut flowers to last longer.
3.   Adding a pinch of salt to milk will keep it fresh longer.
Apples and pears dropped in cold, lightly salted water as they are peeled will retain their color.
4.   Apples and pears dropped in cold, lightly salted water as they are peeled will retain their color.
5.   Control dandruff by rubbing one tablespoon of salt into dry hair, let stand 5 minutes and rinse.
6.   Give sponges’ new life by soaking them in cold saltwater after they are washed.
7.   If your soup or stew is too salty, you can add raw cut up potatoes. They will absorb the excess salt.  Just remove them after they have cooked.
8.   Mix equal parts of salt and baking soda as a mouthwash that sweetens the breath.
9.   Rubbing a little salt on your griddle will help to keep foods from sticking.
10. Salt and cinnamon take the burned food odor away from ovens and stove burners. Sprinkle spills while oven and burners are still hot; when dry, remove the salted spots with a stiff brush or cloth.
11. Soak mosquito bites in saltwater, and then apply a mixture of lard and salt.
You can remove the odor of onions or garlic from your hands by rubbing moistened salt on your hands and then rinsing with warm water and soap.12.  Soak new candles in a strong salt solution for a few hours, and then dry them well. When burned they will not drip.
13.  Sprinkling salt on your cabinet shelves helps to keep ants away.
14.  The greasiest iron pan will wash easily if you use a little salt in it and wipe with paper.
15.  Use salt to clean your cast iron pans. Simply sprinkle some in your pan and rub it with a dry cloth.
16. When cooking foods in a double boiler, adding a little salt to the water will make the food cook faster.
17.  When frying bacon, sprinkling a pinch of salt in the frying pan will help to keep the grease from splattering.
18.  You can remove the odor of onions or garlic from your hands by rubbing moistened salt on your hands and then rinsing with warm water and soap.
19.   You should never add salt to the water that you cook corn it will only make the corn tougher.
20.    Your gravy will have fewer lumps if you will add a pinch of salt to the flour before mixing it with water.

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