• Wow – I had absolutely no idea that there was this much history in Aigues-Mortes! Other than our conversations and brief mentions in travel guides, I have heard nothing of it. And yet it is so touristed? That is such a surprise. Thanks, Susan, for a really terrific article – my silly meanderings on salt addiction pale in comparison to the research and work you have done here! So glad Towny made you the cookies so you could have one with your tea this evening! (Incidentally, they are wonderful with cocoa, too!) Bises, David

  • Oh, and Towny's photo of the salt cellars is absolutely stunning.

  • Really interesting, Susan! And wonderfully timed with David's post on Cocoa & Lavender. I have not explored the Carmargue, but it is on my bucket list. Thanks for giving me one more reason to go.

  • Anonymous

    Whoever thought a story about salt could hold my interest so long? Great post, Susan!!! Your blog gets better all the time. Congratulations! MMN

  • Anonymous

    Hello Susan,

    I have been reading your posts for more than a year and enjoy them enormously. My wife and I spend a wonderful vacation traveling through France many years ago and spent three days with friends of friends in Bonnieux, at the time not yet overrun with tourists. I have wanted to comment on several of your posts but always seem to have difficulty navigating the comments section's maze.
    The post about Aigues-Mortes was the latest to stir my interest. I grew up in a small village in Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean. My village had come into existence after the French revolution when the British, whose colony Trinidad was, invited the pro-Royalist French colonial planters fleeing their plantations in now republican colonies, to come to Trinidad. My forefathers came as freemen with several of these planters and they all were given land by the British.
    The language of the village was French patois although most people could speak some English. Rereading The Count of Monte Cristo recently I noticed that Dumas seemed to attribute the deadly fever suffered by the wife of Caderousse, one of the major villains of the novel, to the dead water of Aigues-Mortes where their tavern was situated. It reminded me that in my village fever and chills were called "aigue" in patois and this led me to wonder if Aigues-Mortes really meant "deadly water" rather than "dead" or "stagnant water.
    It is a long shot but it got me to write to you finally and to say "great stuff" and keep it up.
    George Archer
    Montreal, canada

  • Hi David, Knowing a little of the history of the area does make that fortified city come alive! To know that salt harvesting has been a the economic agent throughout its history–long before the tacky stores–is also very interesting. Bis, Susan
    P.S. The salted oatmeal cookies (from your post) were wonderful!

  • Thanks Kirsten for the positive feedback. It is a very different area than the Luberon, where I know you have spent a lot of time. And yes, it was fun to coordinate with David's Cocoa & Lavender blog!

  • Salt is so common and seemingly uninteresting to all of us and yet its production and the roles it has played in history are anything but! Thank you for your nice feedback!

  • I very interesting post of an area I've been close to but never quite got there. I use Baleine salt on a daily basis so nice to know about where it comes from.

  • I am fascinated by the use of the word "aigue" to refer to fever and chills, a word so firmly ingrained in the patois of the people, that it is used in another land, across the ocean! Like you, I do wonder what its origin may be. In the mid-19th century, when Dumas wrote his book, there was apparently an outbreak of malaria and meningitus in the Camargue and in Aigues-Mortes, in particular (where there was greater population density) and it would be understandable if people attributed the cause to the dominant attribute of the area–stagnant water. (Undoubtedly, outbreaks of other diseases arose in the area, like other areas of Europe at that time.)

    Does anyone out there have any thoughts on the matter?

    Thanks so much for writing, George, and for such positive feedback.

    Best regards,
    susan

  • I, too, use Baleine salt and was interested in knowing where it came from and that the harvesting of that salt has such a long history! Thanks for your note, Karen!

  • Pingback: ()