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Aleppo Soap

 

History

The recipe for Aleppo soap, the precursor to all hard soaps (Savon de Marseille in particular), reached in Europe in the twelfth century. The traditional Aleppo soap is still in the form of a brown bread loaf on which is stamped the name of the manufacturer and the quality of the soap.

 

The Production

Made from pure vegetable oils (olive and laurel), water, soda and plants, the soap traditionally contains no synthetics, solvents, dyes, perfumes or animal fat.

To manufacture the soap, olive oil, water and caustic soda originated from plants are put in an underground tank.

The ingredients are heated at high temperatures for three days in copper cauldrons; at the end of the process bay laurel oil is added.

The paste is spread on the floor of the workshop. While the soap cools, workers walk on the soap with a board attached to their shoes to achieve a uniform thickness.

Still on the ground, the soap is cut into blocks with an instrument that looks like a rake and the bread-like blocks are stamped.

Stacked and dried, they are stored in a cellar to mature for 9 months. During the aging, the outside of the bread turns brown (chlorophyll, in the absence of sunlight and photosynthesis, is slowly oxidized on the surface), while the inside remains green.

 

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