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Pakistan's 'Pink Gold'

Himalayan pink salt has become de rigeur in most fashionable circles in recent years. Celebrity chefs such as Jamie Oliver have recommended the rose-colored condiment for its subtle flavors while special lamps made from the attractively hued crystal have been endorsed by alternative lifestyle gurus for their restorative powers. Many specialized pink-salt spas have also cropped up, offering a wide range of soothing baths and curative treatments based on this seemingly magic mineral. Most of our supplies of this popular product actually come from the Khewra Salt Mines, which lie in the foothills of the Himalayas, about 260 kilometers from Lahore in Pakistan. Hundreds of thousands of tons of this rock salt are reportedly extracted from the Khewra mines each year, with much of it being exported to the West, where it is sold as a deluxe seasoning in high-end delicatessens or made into fancy lamps that take pride of place in expensive gift shops. (11 PHOTOS)