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Re: Sea salt question
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Published: 15 years ago
This is a reply to # 857,299

Re: Sea salt question

If you take a look at the Salt Page right at the top, on this site, you can find a picture of "The salt flats of Guérande, one of France's National Treasures."

The salt you are looking at comes from this area, it is grey salt. Here's a little write up on it:

"So what is Fleur de Sel de Guérande, and why it is so special (and expensive)?

Sel de Guérande is harvested by hand, raked from the salty ocean water from the Atlantic that's carefully guided into shallow marshes through a complex series of 10 various, winding waterways. Being guided from the ocean, it floats down a narrow path encircling the marshes. Along the way the water is held in a basin, called a vasière, where fish, eels, and everything else you don't want to find in your salt shaker is cleared from the water before it's guided into narrower channels, and ultimately into the marshes, the œillets. Starting out, ocean water has roughly 27 grams of salt per liter, but by the time the water makes it way into the œillets, it's far saltier, containing 300 grams of salt per liter.

In the marshes, when the water evaporates to a depth of about 1/2 to 1 centimeter (about 1/2-inch), a fine layer of salt collects on the surface, and is delicately raked up with a lousse à de fleur, designed to disturb the tender crust as little as possible during the process. The salt is raked by specialists, a delicate job formerly entrusted only to women, by people called paludiers.

This fine layer of salt is the Fleur de Sel de Guérande, and is the most highly-prized of all salts. Salt harvesting in this region began in the year 868, and as mentioned, only women were allowed to rake the fleur de sel, since men were thought to be too rough to do such delicate work. Once harvested, the women would gather the salt into large bowls, or gèdes, weighing roughly 30 kilos (65 pounds), and carry it to the shore perched on their heads since the pathways were too narrow to navigate otherwise. But when the rubber wheel was invented, that simplified the process, and was perhaps more comfortable, and wheel barrels were used beginning in 1932. But even to this day, all the salt is hand-harvested in the Guérande and the only mechanical part of the process is the truck which drives the salt to the packaging facility close-by."


I use salt mined by the "paludiers" as well, and it is absolutely delectable.

Hope this answers your question.

MadArt (ist)


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