Authentic Fleur de Sel
Fleur de sel, in the simplest of terms, is salt—not just any salt, though; fleur de sel is the highest quality finishing salt available. Referring to this culinary treasure as simply “salt”, is akin to referring to cinnamon as mere bark. Both are true, of course, but just as not all bark is capable of becoming cinnamon, not all salt boasts the same culinary status as fleur de sel. True fleur de sel is salt in its purest of forms and is considered superior to even the wide range of other gourmet sea salts available to consumers. Let’s dig a little deeper into what makes fleur de sel so special.
What is Fleur de Sel?
Fleur de sel translates to mean flower of salt in French, named for the flower-like appearance formed in the crystalline crust, which is carefully harvested from the surface of sea water. The origins of fleur de sel are also in France—specifically, from shallow pools off the coast of Brittany—though today it is also harvested in many other parts of the world with similar weather conditions (warm and sunny with only a gentle breeze).
Fleur de sel vs sea salt
All salt is derived from sea salt, meaning every variety of salt is indeed sea salt. However, not all sea salt is the same. Fleur de sel is gathered from shallow pools or salt marshes by hand. When the weather conditions are just right, water will evaporate, leaving a crusty, crystalline layer of salt sitting upon the surface of the water. This “crust” contains only the purest version of sea salt—fleur de sel—whereas larger salt crystals will sink below the surface, to be collected for different purposes. In-tune culinary aficionados may notice a much “cleaner” taste when biting into a fleur de sel crystal and because the sodium chloride levels are lower and the moisture content higher, it is also experienced as less salty.
What is so special about fleur de sel?
Fleur de sel is a unique finishing salt that not only boasts lower levels of sodium; it also has higher levels of important minerals than other varieties of salt. It is sea salt in its purest form, lacking impurities, such as gypsum, shale, quartz, and even micro-plastics, which can be found in other varieties of salts.
Not only does that mean fleur de sel could actually be better for your health, it also enables that unique earthy, marine-like, yet less salty flavor that it is prized for.
Check out this post to see what other factors make fleur de sel special.
Where to buy fleur de sel
Just type “fleur de sel” into Google and you will be returned an overwhelming list of results pages that lead to vendors selling fleur de sel. You can also buy it in most specialty grocery stores or spice shops. We would like to point out, though, that if the price listed for what is being marketed as fleur de sel seems too good to be true, then it probably is. True fleur de sel is never cheap. It’s price is reflective of its purity and the extensive process it takes to develop and harvest these delicate flower-like crystals.
Fear not, Slofoodgroup carries high-quality fleur de sel, harvested from the warm coastal waters of Greece at a fair price.