Fleur de sels are flat grains formed as a soft, thin crust on the water surface when it evaporates slowly. Fleur de sels have been collected from seas throughout Europe and the Middle East since early times, though it was historically most commonly used as an antiseptic and healing salt. It’s still used today as a garnish and flavor for food, but today it is primarily used to enhance the taste of seafood and wines. Here, we’ll take a look at what this delectable salty liquid has to offer.
The key characteristic of fleur de sel salt is its remarkable ability to maintain moisture and improve texture of foods. Because it lacks a complex crystal structure, this salt retains more of the water content of the dish than other salts, which means it doesn’t have to work as hard to retain its flavor. This allows it to be less harsh on the palate and allows the natural flavors in the seafood to come through without being overpowered by the salt.
The salt is mined primarily from regions along the Atlantic and Mediterranean Seas. Most of the salt is harvested from coastal areas that experience high levels of sea salt production during the summer months. While it does grow in higher elevations away from these sources, most of the fleur de sel that can be found on supermarket shelves is mined in the lower 48 states, and the only salt that is not found in this region is the regular salt.
Fleur de sels are crystallized natural sea salt produced throughout the world. The salt has unique properties that make it superior to regular table salt. By using fleur de sel in place of regular table salt, you can preserve the taste buds of your food and at the same time enjoy the rich flavors and distinctive aroma of seafood.
One of the most important characteristics of fleur de sel is that it contains a greater concentration of beneficial trace minerals. Because it is extracted from the sea rather than refined, the mineral properties are less chemical processed and concentrated. Because of this, it maintains more of the trace minerals found in seawater than does the regular sea salt. This includes magnesium, iron, and zinc, as well as the aforementioned calcium, which are important for the strong muscles in your body.
Another important quality of fleur de sel is that it maintains a higher degree of concentration of minerals compared to other forms of sea salt. All minerals are dehydrated, but the rate at which they become so will depend on the environment and the concentration of minerals present. When the concentration of the minerals in the water evaporates faster than they can be absorbed, they will turn to ions and enter the water, where they leave no impression on your taste buds. The same goes for the trace elements like calcium and magnesium – if the concentration in the water evaporates faster than they can be taken up by your body, they will be left behind on the surface of the food as you eat it. This can actually ruin your enjoyment of the taste of seafood, especially fish.
Fleur de sels also provides a distinct flavor. Because the minerals in it stay in suspended form, it retains the flavor of the ocean. This is great for seafood, as seafood is some of the most popular animal proteins in the world. However, it is also great for people who don’t care for seafood, or even people who prefer their flavor to be different. Because fleur de sel maintains a higher concentration of minerals, it leaves behind an aftertaste unlike regular table salt. This makes it a great addition to cocktails and mixed drinks, as well as to saltines and hot sandwiches.
While fleur de sel can benefit people from all walks of life, it is particularly beneficial to those who live in warmer regions of the world, where evaporation from shallow marshes and seas can cause salty Atlantic waters to become too acidic. It’s important to remember that although this type of salt can help bring back some of the moisture and natural flavor of naturally salty ocean waters, you should still watch out for its effects on your health. Since its effects are not permanent like those from sun or chlorophyll, you won’t have to worry about the salt eating away at your body like other heavy minerals might. On the other hand, if you do choose to take up an exercise regime or a diet high in seafood – even if it is just fleur de sel – you should be aware that it can affect your kidney functions. As with any type of salt therapy, moderation is the key to success.