Fleur De Seul, better known as “sea salt” or “diver’s gold,” is revered by many chefs for its delicate flavor and moist, salty texture. It’s a perfect accompaniment to any dish – fresh, salty, or mixed with other ingredients. Many people enjoy using fleur de sel as an on-the-go seasoning or fleur de sel sea salt for baking. Whatever your use for it, knowing a little about its history will help you appreciate this versatile seasoning.
Fleur De Sel was created in France when fine river water evaporated to become salty brine. The water became so salty that it was used as a food seasoning, and soon it became synonymous with this new found taste. Known by various names (sea salt, marine amber, and coastal salt), fleur de sel is made by soaking the sand grains of fleur de sel in brine water for several days, then straining it through copper pipes where it has evaporated into the air.
The flavor becomes even more delightful when fleur de sel is added at the end of the cooking process. This finishing salt provides a smooth texture and rich flavor that go perfectly with grilled foods. In fact, it goes so well with smoked fish, seafood, chicken, and turkey that experts recommend cooking fish using fleur de sel at least twice a year. It also pairs beautifully with cheeses and desserts. In fact, some desserts – like ice cream – can only be cooked with fleur de sel.
The history of fleur de sel dates back to the earliest times, when salt was created by mixing fine layer of sands with water. At first, these salts were just too fine to be of any use, but they somehow developed an ionic charge that changed the properties of the water present in them. They became crystallized and eventually developed the ability to capture light, which was their original purpose. Today, salt flats or “salt mixtures” are used for a variety of reasons, but for most people, salt flats are used as a way of adding that extra bit of flavor to foods. Whether you’re grilling boiling, or sauces, you’ll never go wrong adding fleur de sel to your meals.
Fine maldon salt and fleur de sel are both considered to be fine-quality alternatives to table salt. This is because the flavor is very concentrated. So, instead of having the salt’s molecules spreading out, as happens with table salt, the fleur de sel molecules are tightly clustered together, providing a much more refined flavor that some find to be superior. As a result, some chefs prefer to use the fleur de sel salt on their grilled or roasted foods, while others enjoy the subtle flavor of the fine maldon salt.
While fleur de sel is not widely used as a condiment, it is still growing in popularity. Part of this has been due to the fact that its use as a seasoning for food has been around for hundreds of years. Another reason why it’s growing in popularity is that it doesn’t have to cost as much as table salt, which makes it much more affordable for consumers. However, as with any type of culinary seasoning, there are a variety of options when choosing which brand or type of fleur de sel to purchase. The most popular are sodium chloride and potassium chloride salts.
Sodium chloride is the most common variety of fleur de sel used in kitchens across America. Traditionally this has been added to sea salt, but it can also be purchased in a bag or can be purchased in bulk at any grocery or discount store. For most cooking styles, it works best combined with the potassium chloride salt which is also commonly used in preparing seafood recipes. Because fleur de sel is used primarily as a culinary seasoning, it’s important to note that you should only purchase it from a reputable supplier. Look for a supplier that’s name is easy to pronounce and has a long name that includes a “k”.
Potassium chloride is the salt of choice for those who are trying to incorporate fleur de sel into their own cuisine. Although sea salts are less commonly used as a flavor in American cuisine, they’re gaining in popularity for a variety of cuisines across the country. When considering what type of fleur de sel to purchase, the key is making sure that the salt you select will impart the desired flavor into whatever foods you intend to prepare to use it. There are several brands available online and in stores, but before you pick up the phone or make a trip to your local market, try these suggestions to find the right flavor match for your cooking style.