Fleur de sels are salty flakes from the Pellicle of salt (formed at sea). This salt is obtained by evaporation and contains a delicate sweet, lemony flavor. As it evaporates, fleur de sel forms a thin, fine crust on the moist surface of salty water as it evaporates. It has traditionally been used as both a salve and purgative, but more recently has been used as an ornamental salt for decoration. In fact, many homes in the United States have fleur de sel in their salt boxes, kitchen shelves, and basins.
Fleur de sels are available in many forms. There are several brands of fleur de sel available today, including bulk, tub, and household. Each type of fleur de sel salt contains different varieties of minerals, with some containing more important minerals than others. Below are some of the more common salts included in fleur de sel:
Most people have heard of fleur de tile. This type of salt does not contain any minerals, which is why it is so popular. Fleur de sels contain magnesium, calcium, sodium, and iron. They also provide a soft, salty taste, reminiscent of mustard. They are often used in kitchens and for baking, and they add a distinctive flavor to anything made with flour and salt.
The flavor of fleur de sel varies with the season. Hot summers may make a bowl of salty fish or pasta taste wonderful, while winter can make white rice taste great. In addition, the season affects how the minerals absorb into the water evaporating from the ocean. As water evaporates, the minerals are separated, which gives the salt its distinctive flavor.
Fleur de sels are available both in large bags or in grinder-sealable sheets. Many times, fleur de sel comes in larger bags, because it is used to sprinkle on top of baked goods, as well as placed on the food in order to garnish it. It is also sometimes used to season meats. Fleur de sets come in a variety of flavors, depending upon how it is used. It can be salty, sour, or sweet.
Fleur de sels are available not only in kosher but also in regular styles. Some people prefer fleur de sel to table salt, because it doesn’t contain any nickel, which is added during the manufacturing process. This reduces, if not eliminates the need for nickel-free products. Fleur de set also makes a great alternative to table salt.
If fleur de sel is purchased in its separate sheets, it is important to rinse it well. This will help the salt retain its flavor and ensure that it doesn’t lose its value. There are other types of salts available in stores today, but none compares to the appeal, versatility, and affordability of fleur de sel. The average consumer shouldn’t have a problem finding a use for this traditional salt.
Fleur de sels can be harvested from seaweed. Some varieties are harvested from Clostridium salicifolium. This type of salt is commonly known as “clostridial” salts and is used to season many sea foods. Fleur de sels are also harvested from berries that grow on certain herbs, such as Rosemary and lemon. These types of salts are rarely harvested because of their delicate taste.
Fleur de sel harvested from seashells has a distinctive salty flavor. In addition, it tends to be quite expensive due to the harvesting process, which involves scooping out the shells from the water and then washing them in a large dish with detergent and chlorine. Once harvested, the salty water must be cleaned off of the shells prior to applying the fleur de sel.
Other types of fleur de sel may not be harvested from the sea. Many of these products come from mineral salts that are ground into fine pieces. They are often mixed together with coarse sea salt to create an affordable salt alternative. For example, ionized calcium sulfate is mixed with gypsum and other ingredients to create “calcium chloride sand”. When mixed together, the gypsum and the fine calcium pieces provide a highly absorbent product that can be added to any number of cooking recipes.
Although fleur de sel may be used as a replacement for coarse sea salt in the kitchen, it does have its own distinct properties. Because it is more concentrated than coarse sea salt, it will not completely replace the need for coarse sea salt. Instead, it offers a versatile product that can be used for a variety of culinary purposes.