Fleur de Sel de Guérande - French Sea Salt
Guérande's name suggests the essential link between the land, the sea, and the superb fleur de sel for which both have become famed.
Fleur de Sel de Guérande is slightly more mineral-rich than Fleur de Sel from Île de Ré, one of the other original Celtic salt-making towns on France's western coast, and far moister and slightly coarser than Fleur de Sel de Camargue, which comes from the south of France. This finishing salt is well suited for grilled whole fish such as the massive, succulent sardines of the Brittany cost, and has been a favorite of ours on rich dishes such as gallettes, soft cheeses, and even chocolate.
From the Breton, Gwen Ran, (white land), Guérande's natural estuaries, bright days, and warm breezes have been creating salt for thousands of years before ever being discovered by civilized man, though it is likely that prehistoric man also made ample use of the natural wonder of life-giving salt emerging from the sea.
Man refined the natural process, and today our Fleur de Sel de Guérande is made in the same manner developed by the Celts some 1,000 years ago. The tide comes in everyday by the canal (etier). During the salt-making season, the paludier (salt raker) lets water flow into the silt-pond (vasière). Then, the water flows down slowly into the salt-field (saline) through several ponds dug in the native cobier clay. The action of the sun and winds warms up the water and evaporates it, the salt content rises, until the water has become brine and is eventually let to flow into the saltpans (oeillets), where salt crystallizes and can be collected.
From June to September, the paludier picks up two sorts of salt: the coarse salt known as Sel Gris at the bottom of the pan is collected with a las (a wide rake) and stocked on the ladure (small round stocking area). The small white crystals forming on the surface during warm windy days that is picked with the lousse is called fleur de sel. The name "flower of salt" was given from the scent of violets that drifts faintly from the drying mounds of luscious white crystals.
Some Other Fleur de Sel We Carry
Taster: 1.0 oz.; Small: 2.3 oz.; Medium: 6.5 oz.; Large: 10.2 oz.
Small Bag: 8.5 oz.; Large Bag: 32 oz.