About Fleur de Sel Sea Salt

Shop our CyberCucina online store's Sea Salt Aisle for the best Fleur de Sel. Easy online ordering, fast shipping, great customer service. Visit us today!

Fleur de Sel (flower of salt) is harvested sea water, drawn into an area lined with clay where the sun and wind help evaporate the water and the layers of salt are raked away. This produces an all natural sea salt. Fleur de Sel salt is exceptionally rich in vital minerals and trace elements.

Traditional French fleur de sel is collected off the coast of Brittany most notably in the towns of Guérande but also in Noirmoutier and Ile de Ré.

The particular Fleur de Sel pictured here is a product of the salt fields of Guerande, France. These fields are both long and narrow, permitting the worker who performs the actual salt harvest (known as a "paludier") more easily accomplish his task. The harvested sea water is drawn into an area lined with clay where the sun and wind help evaporate the water. The artisan paludier sweeps the top of this evaporating sea water. The result is the hand harvested salt known as sel gris de Guerande which has a distinct gray coloring.

This is typically done in a single day. For every 80 pounds of sel gris produced, there is one pound of Fleur de Sel that is harvested.

It is used generally to finish a dish, as a condiment, rather than a spice. One of its most famous uses is the delicious Caramels from the island of Re. These caramels are known as "the saunier's (salt gatherer's) delight" because their rich flavor is heightened by a pinch of genuine sea salt, most typically gathered with wooden rakes on the island of Re since the 11th century. Certified butter from the Charentes-Poitou region, suga, spices, and Pineau de Charentes wine together impart the characteristic tender, creamy quality and lingering taste of this authentic French country caramel.

Rich in trace elements, the taste of Fleur de Sel is the complex balance of the sea and her minerals with small flaky crystals, a moist texture and slightly gray/pink cast. Fleurs de sel contain more mineral complexity than table salt.

Fleur de sel is a moist salt. Because of this, it does not dissolve when sprinkled on a moist food: they retain their crystal structure, giving a slight crunch to the food as well as a slight shimmer. Due to the small size of the crystals, fleur de sel dissolves faster than regular salt when used in cooking. Hence it is best used as a finishing salt by sprinkling it over food just before serving. The crystals of fleurs de sel are irregularly sized and shaped and so dissolve at different rates in the mouth, giving several phases of salting.

Our CyberCucina online store offers a large selection of fine sea salt products including Fleur de Sel sea salt from France, as well as other salts from England and other countries. Simply visit our Sea Salt Aisle for Fleur de Sel French sea salt to view our selections.

Shop our CyberCucina online store's Sea Salt Aisle for the best Fleur de Sel. Easy online ordering, fast shipping, great customer service. Visit us today!

Did You Know?...

Historically called bay salt or solar salt, sea salt is unrefined salt that comes from the sea or ocean. Sea salt is formed from the natural evaporation of ocean water, harvested in man-made pools near a protected shoreline. Sea salt is collected by guiding salty water into big clay forms. Once the water has been collected in the clay forms, it is kept until it has evaporated naturally. After the water has evaporated, what remains is scraped out as natural sea salt.

Sea Salt is used in cooking and commercially in products. It is considered to be much more flavorful and not quite as "salty" than table salt. It is 98% sodium chloride, compared to table salt's 99.9% purity. Many chefs will use sea salt or kosher salt as a crust for baked potatoes or in French cuisine and preserving. Sea salt is also considered Kosher, as it has been approved by rabbis for use in the Jewish community.

Sea salt is also used in the cosmetics industry as a natural exfoliate or scrub. Natural sea salt crystals may form the base for deodorants or antiperspirants. Many bath salt mixtures contain generous amounts of natural sea salt.

Sea salt contains minerals that table salt does not contain naturally, including iron, iodine, sulfur and magnesium calcium and potassium. Sea salt also does not contain some of the unnatural ingredients that table salt contains. The finest artisan salts are natural or organic and are not treated or washed. Even lesser-grade sea salts are typically not refined as much as other kinds of salt.

Because different bodies of water have different mineral contents, salts will look and taste different. Some have flowery nuances, some are strong, some delicate, some have sulfuric notes, some can taste sweet. For chefs and consumers, sea salt is produced in coarse, fine and extra fine grains. There are different qualities of sea salt, from a cooking salt to a finishing salt or garnish. A little goes a long way too.

Salt has long been mined wherever it was available; The oldest recorded history of sea salt use is in China and dates to the Iron Age. It was considered a very valuable commodity and used in trade. In Venice, whose economic strength was not just as a seaport but as a major salt-producer, the immense salt evaporation pans were referred to colloquially as "the Seven Seas." The phrase "sailing the Seven Seas" derived from the challenge of navigating one's craft among the bars that enclosed these evaporation ponds. However, there are many places where mineral salt is not present, and the only source is to mine coastally. Sea salt was mined and used in many of ways that it is still being used. The ancient methods for mining sea salt do not differ greatly from the methods currently utilized. Often done by hand, modern sea salt production is almost entirely found in Mediterranean. But other mining areas include the North Sea, the Atlantic Ocean (France and Brittany coasts), the Cayman Islands, Ireland, Greece, Sicily and Colombia. There are places in the United States that produce sea salt, including Hawaii, Maine, Utah, Massachusetts and San Francisco Bay.

The health benefits are numerous. The human body absorbs salt minerals through pores in the skin. Many people enjoy soaking in mineral baths filled with sea salt. This can be done in spa-like settings or at home. When sea salt is rubbed into the skin, it can work to exfoliate dead skin cells, improve circulation and replenish certain body minerals. Adding a good quality unrefined sea salt to the diet may actually help reduce blood pressure, due to the presence of magnesium and other minerals.