What is Fleur de Seul? It involves gathering the first thin layer of salty water which rises into the open surface of deep coastal pools of France, mostly but not exclusively on the French Riviera. It is formed by deposition and evaporation of salt into the ocean, from rivers or inland lakes. This process is repeated year after year and there is a wide variety of fleur de sel salt used. As time goes by, new salts are discovered and added to the mixture. The best fleur de sel salt comes from Brittany, southern France.
What is a fleur de sel? It is a fine fleur de sel salt whose chemical properties enable it to dissolve in water quite quickly. Other salts do not have this property. It is also a very fine sea salt with a fine grain. Its molecular structure is much like that of ordinary sea salt, with similar sodium, calcium, magnesium and potassium properties.
Fleur de sel is generally much cheaper than ordinary sea salt, but it does not have that salty taste. It is lighter yellowish in color, similar to ordinary sea salt, and has a unique odor. Many people believe it tastes better, because it contains no additives. It is the best fleur de sel substitute for the best purchase.
Fleur de sel is a crystalline powder which dissolve in water, and it has a unique texture, as it is more elastic than other salts. In spite of this unique property, it is still considered to be fine fleur de sel. It has an earthy taste and smell, which some find unpleasant. The taste can be light, subtle or bitter depending on the amount of fleur de sel used. It has a very fine texture, which some find very good.
There are serving suggestions, though most people will use it as a table salt alternative. It can be used as a sea-salt alternative on grilled pork and beef, as well as with mixed seafood and chicken. It can be served as a table salt or on its own as a crunchy alternative for cheese. When grated, it has a coarse grain, while when raw it has a soft gray color. It can be combined with cream cheese for a fleur de sel sandwich, or with eggs and butter for a soft and creamy fleur de sel scramble.
It goes well with other ingredients, though it pairs particularly well with herbs and seasonings such as Rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage and garlic. It can also be paired with parsley and lemon wedges for a fresh, light salads. If fleur de sel is grated and added to salads, they can be served as a light dinner appetizer with roasted chicken, shrimp or boiled fish. Served as a small salad, it adds a crunch and helps to enhance the flavor of vegetables that have been added to the salad. Adding fleur de sel to a glass of wine also helps to enhance the flavor of a wine.
Many people prefer to sprinkle with fleur de sel on their food before grilling to add a salty taste that rivals that of regular table salt. Many sea salt shakers include this in their salt options, or you may want to make your own. Fleur de sel is a very salty variety of salt and is best used in its natural state – unsalted. If you want your food to have a little bit of extra moisture, then finely grate some fleur de sel into a cup of water, shake until it is a powder, then add to salads or to your favorite recipes. For best results, use fleur de sel in its un-salted form.
Because fleur de sel contains so many mineral ingredients, it is often served with sea salt for a better taste and texture. When purchasing sea salt, it is best to buy the big bottle of coarse grade salt. This will help to ensure that the salt does not settle and mix in with your meal. This should be the finishing touch to any delectable dish, helping to enhance its crispiness and crunchiness for best results.