Fleur de sel is a premium sea salt that costs several times the price of ordinary table salt. It’s a delicate and flaky finishing salt that adds more flavor, texture, and visual appeal to your dishes.
It’s harvested from shallow pools of seawater by hand along the coast of Brittany, France. As a result, it has complex chemical makeup and crunchy texture that elevates your dishes in a way you wouldn’t get with regular table salt.
It’s harvested by hand
Fleur de sel is hand-harvested from a unique process that dates back over 1,100 years to the coastal area of Guerande, France. It’s produced by evaporating seawater in shallow salt marshes.
To do this, workers channel the water into marshes, then use dykes to funnel it and trap it in salt pans where it slowly evaporates under the natural influence of wind and sunlight. This creates a delicate crust of white salt that forms atop the salt pools.
But this crust needs to be perfect, and it only forms in certain weather conditions. The salt marsh must have a warm and sunny climate with a strong but not too weak wind to allow the salt crystals to form.
Using a special micro sieve, workers skim the surface of the salt pools and carefully remove the crystals. This method is labor-intensive but the end result is clean and pure.
A handful of fleur de sel adds a touch of flavor and visual appeal to a dish. It’s a great finishing salt that can also be used to enhance the taste of savory dishes, especially seafood and pasta.
The salt is then sorted and naturally dried to preserve its high mineral content, before being stored in airtight tins. The result is a salt that’s delicate, sweet and violet-nuanced.
Healthline says that unlike table salt or generic sea salt, which are processed to remove their naturally occurring minerals, fleur de sel is not refined and contains more nutrients like iron, potassium, and bone-building calcium. This type of sea salt is also more moist than common salt, allowing it to form snowflake-like crystals that take longer to dissolve on the tongue.
But while this may be a healthy addition to your diet, it’s important to note that excessive sodium consumption can cause health problems. According to Healthline, consuming too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure and heart disease.
So while a few sprinkles of fleur de sel may add a unique and delicious flavor to your meal, be mindful that this salt is an expensive one. It’s best to use it sparingly to avoid overdoing it, and only sprinkle it on top of your dish right before serving so it doesn’t melt away and lose its salty goodness.
Fleur de sel is an extremely rare and expensive salt, which is mainly harvested off the coast of France. It’s produced under very limited weather conditions, making it a highly laborious process to collect.
In addition to being collected by hand, the salt must be skimmed off the surface of the seawater using special sieves and rakes. It’s an expensive process because it involves such a small quantity of salt, and the harvest only takes place for a few months per year.
The best places to find fleur de sel are in areas of Brittany and Western France, including Guerande, Ile de Re island, Noirmoutier, Camargue, and other coastal regions. However, the quality of fleur de sel varies widely, depending on the location and climate of where it is harvested.
This special type of salt is incredibly rare and expensive, which is why you’re likely to see it on the menus of only the finest restaurants. Some chefs swear by it over regular table salt, and many claim that it has a unique flavor that’s hard to replicate.
A 250g (8 oz) bag of French fleur de sel can cost less than $9 in the US, but remember to use it sparingly and only for finishing purposes. That way, it will last you a long time.
It’s worth spending the extra money on this specialty salt, as it elevates your food in a very special way. It has a delicate, flaky texture and can add a savory, briny flavor that is both subtle and unexpected.
One of the most popular ways to use it is as a garnish, but you can also sprinkle it on caramels, chocolates, or any other sweet dish that needs a kick. Adding it in the last few minutes before serving will help keep the salt from melting, so you can enjoy the delicate crunch and unique flavor.
Unlike other salts, which are extracted from inland lakes and mines, fleur de sel is a natural product, formed by the evaporation of seawater. This allows for the creation of crystals with a higher magnesium and calcium content than table salt, giving it a smooth, more delicate taste.
It’s easy to overdo
Fleur de sel is a salt whose flavor, texture and mineral content are unique. It’s a popular choice among chefs and foodies and is known as the caviar of salts.
It’s a delicately sweet, salty, and slightly muskily flavorful sea salt that melts on the tongue as it gently reveals its complex minerality. It’s an excellent finishing salt, especially for grilled fish and vegetables.
In order to obtain a high quality product, it’s important to harvest fleur de sel by hand. Guerande “paludiers” skim the surface of the salt ponds and pick only the crystals that have formed on the top layer.
The process of harvesting this type of salt is incredibly labor intensive. This is why it is so expensive compared to coarse sea salt.
If you want to use this salt in your cooking but don’t have the budget to buy a large amount, consider trying a substitute. Adding a pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt will give your dish the same taste and texture as Fleur de Sel without costing you an arm and a leg.
Another alternative is to substitute it with a fine-grained salt like Maldon, which has a beautiful, thin flake shape and a gentle taste that melts on the tongue. This sea salt also comes from the foothills of the Himalayas and is famous for its subtle, delicate flavor.
You can also try a lime-infused version of this salt to liven up a dish or to use as a garnish. The citrusy zest will add a fresh, spring-summer flavor that can lift dishes such as steamed green beans or grilled prawns.
However, this salt may be too much for some people. You can still enjoy it, but you’ll need to be careful not to overdo it.
The key to using this salt is to keep it in an airtight container and to store it in a cool, dry, dark place. This will ensure that the salt remains fresh and will be able to last up to 10 years.
If you’re looking for a more affordable alternative to fleur de sel, try smoked Kosher or Himalayan pink salts. These salts are made from the same process as Fleur de Sel but have a milder flavor that can be used as a finishing salt.
It’s good for you
Fleur de sel is a finishing salt that works wonders on salads, soups, fish, meat, fruit, vegetables and dessert. It’s best used before you serve your dish and it adds an extra bit of oomph to your dishes, which can be great for boosting the appeal of foods that you may not have normally considered adding salt to.
One of the reasons that this salt is so popular among foodies is that it has a distinct flavor. Its crystals have a unique appearance and a delicate marine taste that’s reminiscent of the ocean.
As a result, it is a common ingredient in gourmet restaurants across the world and has been featured on numerous TV shows. It can be used to garnish drinks, enhance baked goods and even amp up hand-crafted candies.
It’s also a good way to cut back on your overall salt intake. As Healthline shares, it contains more naturally occurring minerals than refined salt, which is typically a mixture of sodium chloride. These include calcium, magnesium, zinc and potassium.
These benefits are all in addition to the natural flavors and textures that it brings to your food. It’s important to note, however, that it should only be used as a last-minute addition to your dishes or before serving to ensure that the flakes don’t lose their flavor and clump together.
This is especially true if you are making a dish that will be served hot, such as pasta or rice. You won’t want to use it on a cold dish, since it will melt and lose its unique character when the temperature rises.
When shopping for fleur de sel, be sure to find it from a trusted source. It should be made in France and be labeled as Guerande or Guerandais to ensure that it’s authentic.
Moreover, it should not be sold with any preservatives or additives. This is because a preservative will ruin the delicate nature of the salt and will cause it to lose its flavor.
The most important thing to remember is to store your purchased fleur de sel in a cool, dark place so that it doesn’t get dry and break down. This will help it last for many years.