Fleur Desel – A Classic Seafood Dish
Fleur de sels or fleur de sel is a salty salt which forms when a thin, white crust forms on the surface of salty water as it evaporated. Fleur de sels has been collected from ancient times, and has long been used as both a cleansing salve and as an aesthetic ingredient to decorate food. It’s still being used today as an finishing salt for garnishing food and to flavor alcoholic beverages.
Because it has a low sodium content, fleur de sel is considered an artisanal product. Because of this, it is sometimes difficult to find, and not all salts of this type are alike. Many varieties have high mineral content and an abundance of iodine. Iodine is the major component in the bodies of all living things. The trace minerals found in fleur de sel are also commonly found in other fine sea salts and sea salt, yet its composition is unique and very unusual.
Like other fine sea salts, fleur de sel contains a large amount of iron. But unlike other sea salts, it lacks magnesium, sodium and chloride. Its mineral content is rich with potassium and calcium, but because it lacks other important minerals, its use as a food seasoning is limited. The mineral content is the key reason for its popularity as an ornamental sea salt. Fleur de sels have a smooth, lustrous finish, and because it contains a high amount of iron, its use as an ingredient in jewelry is very popular.
Because fleur de sel contains a high amount of iron, it is difficult to obtain unless it is from seawater. It has a distinctive taste which some compare to an eggshell. Other salts of this type have a similar taste, but with less intensity. This makes it more affordable to many people than other salts of this type.
Fleur de sels are sold in bag and pellet sizes. Bags are convenient and cheaper alternatives when using fleur de sel for jewelry or decorative purposes. Some collectors prefer to use dry ice to add a unique flavor to their salt. You can also add herbs or seasonings to enhance the flavor or aroma. It’s fun to experiment to discover your favorite combination of flavor or aroma.
When using fleur de sel for cooking, it is better to use kosher salt. Since fleur de sel contains trace amounts of nickel oxide, kosher salt is less absorbent than regular table salt and can replace it easily when necessary. Using kosher salt will preserve its minerals and moisture, making it a good substitute for regular table salt.
To further improve the taste of fleur de sel, you may experiment with adding different herbs or seasoning. For instance, rosemary can be combined with lavender, chamomile, basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano, ginger, and even lemon to create a beautiful blend for seasoning fish or meat. Rosemary, Chamomile, and Bay laurel combined are said to stimulate the circulatory system. This promotes a healthy heart and improves the function of the veins, which in turn reduces arteriosclerosis.
Fleur de sels are generally sold in bags or tubes. These are wrapped in foil to prevent moisture or evaporation. However, when left open, they may retain a salty or sour taste due to evaporation. In order to maintain the salty texture, one should use a spray bottle to dampen the surface or leave them in the sun for several hours.
Another factor that affects fleur de sel’s crunchiness is the seasonings used. France is known for having its own unique taste, so do not assume that every product that you find in the local grocery store is going to be the same as one from the fleur de sel factory. There are variations on the basic salt-encrusted flavor, but most have a very delicate texture that is reminiscent of the finest champagne. Often the salty flavor is enhanced with flowery flavors like rose or vanilla. Fleur de sels from France also include fruits in their mixture such as strawberries, grapes, blackcurrants, and peaches.
As mentioned before, each region in France has its own signature on fleur de sel. The most popular varieties are mostly harvested in coastal areas along the coast and in areas with warmer climates. However, some regions like the Loire Valley, where the climate is cool and the soil more fertile, are also very famous for this salty delicacy. If you are lucky enough to live near one of these regions, you will notice a gradual change in the texture of the crusted fleur de sel as it matures. In general, the flavor becomes less crisp as it gets older, but this is a rare occurrence.
It may seem that the salty taste of fleur de sel is lost on tourists, but this flavor is actually very popular among chefs and food lovers who are looking to inject some flavor into the blandest of dishes. Although the salty texture can be bland at times, it is actually quite delicious and definitely worth trying. Many chefs and foodies swear by the flavor, calling it the greatest seasoning on the planet! If you get the chance to taste it, make sure to take note of its unique and wonderful flavor.