Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Fleur de sel

Writing about radishes topped with butter and salt prompted another post, this one on fleur de sel.

Fleur de sel is a hand harvested salt, scraped from the top layer of the salt beds, located most notably in Guérande and Camargue. Fleur de sel is gros sel--a coarse salt--and is white and flaky.

Before coming home last summer, I picked up several packages Camargue Fleur de Sel. I appreciate the packaging, especially the cork lid which ensures a tight seal. What I also enjoy about Camargue is that each package is sealed and the seal is *signed* by the salt raker who harvested it; mine reads "Cueillie par Christian Carrel." Okay, so maybe it is just part of Camargue's advertising, but you have to admit, it's quaint, n'est-ce pas?

My sister uses Le Paludier Fleur de Sel de Guérande, which some argue is the finest salt available. Perhaps this is true, but sadly, my tastes are not so refined. Of course, the reason to enjoy any brand of fleur de del is the flavor that it adds to food; a pinch added near the end of cooking will enhance the flavor.

You can purchase both Le Paludier and Camargue here in the states. While it is expensive, remember that even a small container will last you a very long time, and cost you only pennies a day.

And for those of you traveling to France this year, pick up several containers of fleur de sel; it is so affordable in France. At Monoprix, a 4.4 ounce package of Camargue costs less than 3 Euros, and Guérande is only slightly more expensive. These lovely little packages make ideal souvenirs or the perfect hostess gift, and are always appreciated. And don't forget to buy a few packages for yourself, too. It is inexpensive, authentic, and oh so French!

Hmmm, maybe I'll have to bring a few of these home this summer for another giveaway . . .

6 comments:

  1. I love fresh-baked bread with butter and a sprinkle of fleur de sel. I have a recipe for fleur de sel caramels that I really want to try sometime.

    When is your trip to France?

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  2. I depart July 23 and return August 21.

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  3. p.s. Marsi, I checked out a fleur de sel caramel recipe on epicurious--they sound sooo delicious. What's keeping you from trying out the recipe?

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  4. Marsi, let us know how that recipe turns out. I love caramel!
    Annecychic, my French friend must have been talking about butter with this type of salt because she was describing it as big chunks of salt in the butter. I'm on a quest to find it Saturday and I promise I'll get back to you!
    K

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  5. Oops, not chunks. Big GRAINS of salt. It's too early for me to be coherent!

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  6. I will try the recipe in July, after I get back from vacation. Too much to do before then!

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