Fleur de sel is sea salt produced by the evaporation off of seawater containing sulfur dioxide. It’s often used in cooking, baking, cosmetics and even for preserving food. It’s also known as black salt, solar salt or fleur de sel.
Like most other natural ingredients, fleur de sel varies greatly in quality. There are many products out there that contain only trace amounts of the minerals which make it important to know what you’re getting. That being said, there are a few qualities present in fleur de sel sea salt that are more common than others.
For starters, fleur de sel is one of two salts produced from the sulfur glands of the salt fish known as the Cajun. As mentioned above, it’s sometimes called black sea salt and has an increased amount of magnesium in its mineral content. This contributes to the fact that this salt tends to be less expensive than other types of sea salts. It’s also less processed than other salts and therefore usually has a better texture. In short, this salt offers a more natural flavor to meals due to its higher concentration of minerals and magnesium.
As with many natural ingredients of a type, fleur de sel also varies depending on where it’s harvested. Most sea salts are harvested in warmer climates like those found in France, Italy and Croatia. These salts tend to have a higher sodium content in them and therefore aren’t suitable for use in colder climates.
The best fleur de sel for the highest quality tends to come from France. It’s not uncommon to find a fleur de sel from this country sold at higher prices than any other. The secret to this quality, however, lies in the process of harvesting it. Fleur de sel is harvested by hand and no mechanized methods are used to speed up the harvesting or de-ionization process. The end result is a natural sea salt that contains very little excess magnesium in its crystal structure but plenty of calcium, potassium, sodium and iron.
It’s not unusual to find fleur de sel from the Mediterranean Sea or the Atlantic Ocean at wholesale prices. However, there are also many salts from other areas around the world that fall into this category and are also harvested by hand. For example, sea salt harvested from the coasts of Morocco, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh meets up with the standards set by the World Health Organization (WHO). These salts are then distributed throughout the world as fleur de sel.
Many kosher certified products have been made with the fleur de sel salt from France. One example is kosher fleur de sel salt from the Rheinfeld Company. This particular salt originates from Saint-Petersburg, which is a city located right near the shore of the Caribbean Sea. The fleur de rande formula has actually been patented in France but only available in kosher certified form in the USA since the 1990’s. A special procedure called “hydrodynamic sorbent coating” is what gives this salt its distinction as being harvested by using a special underwater camera. The film is able to capture the unique properties of the salt while it is still in its original bottle.
Fleur de sel is a popular product for use in shakers, cocktail glasses and even cookware. If you’re looking for a versatile table salt to add flavor and texture to your cooking, consider kosher certified fleur de sel. It’ll add a touch of elegance to your table. Kosher certified products can be found online. They may also be found at local department stores and Jewish superstores in your area.