Sea Salt, Fleur De Sel
1 lb bag $19.70
Fleur de Sel Sea Salt.
Fleur de sel sea salt derives its name from the French, referring to the natural salt “bloom” topping the seawater evaporating in marshy pools. That bloom depends on just the right combination of terrain, sunshine and slow, steady winds. Once it forms, if it forms, harvesters skim the delicate salt crust with specially designed wooden rakes. Even along the coast of Brittany, with just the right conditions for fleur de sel production, the harvest rarely exceeds 2 pounds per day. Incredibly pure, fleur de sel has high moisture content, up to 10 percent, as compared with 0.5 percent for table salt. Why is that important? The extra moisture enables the salt crystals to stick together, snowflake-style, which means they linger longer on the tongue, allowing for a more intense perception of saltiness. In addition, the unique evaporation process results in higher magnesium and calcium content, giving fleur de sel not only an oceanic flavor (even in comparison with other sea salts), but also a softness, lacking any bitter aftertaste.
Because fleur de sel is as much about texture as taste, it is ideal as a finishing condiment, whether topping grilled salmon just before serving or complementing the sugar crust on crème caramel. Fleur de sel is wildly popular as a dessert topping these days, partly because of its textural interest and partly because a touch of sodium triggers glucose sensors in the gut, to enhance the sweet experience.
Although areas of Portugal, Spain, the Canadian Pacific and Mexico harvest fleur de sel, France holds sway as the key source, an honor held since ancient Romans first stumbled across salt-harvesting Gauls. Pliny the Elder called the Gallic harvest “flos salis.”
Mount Hope Wholesale offers fleur de sel in 1-pound bags, for both bulk buyers and individual shoppers.