Fleur de sels are sea salts harvested from rocks on coasts worldwide. They are formed as a thin white crust when it evaporates from seawater because it contains an excess of magnesium chloride. Fleur de sels have been collected from all oceanic regions since ancient days, and has long been used as both a salve and a purifying salt. Today, it is widely used to flavor and garnish seafood and other food preparations.
A fleur de sel can be compared to table salt because it is highly concentrated and has a natural mineral flavor. This high concentration of magnesium chloride in sea water is what gives fleur de sel its salty taste and sensation of feeling like “fresh sea water”. It evapors slowly, which gives it a milky appearance. This quality is desirable in sea foods because the gradual evaporation gives a more delicate texture with a subtle aroma.
During ancient times, fleur de sal was used to cure various diseases. Its healing properties were attributed to its antiseptic qualities. It was thought to have the power to alleviate fevers, stomachache, indigestion, and heartburn. It was even thought to have magical properties, perhaps even possessing some sort of “magical” power. It was also thought to possess a delectable flavor that was enjoyed by those who used it, especially by royalties during medieval times.
Fleur de Sioux contains magnesium chloride and sodium chloride and is the common salt used for table salt. This compound has been studied for its ability to reverse certain biological effects of sea water, particularly when combined with certain other chemicals. The combination of these two salts produces a unique flavor.
Certain fleur de sel salts have an almost metallic taste with a slight citrus twist. These crystals are usually prepared by crushing sea salt and then adding certain aromatics, like lavender or lemon drops, while melting the salts. After evaporation, these crystals will have a lovely pale color, which will go off to the taste. Some salts may even have a light or clear glassy taste when they are first taken from the crystal bowl.
People have long known that fleur de sel can be used for a variety of things ranging from skin abrasions to polishing silverware. Because of this versatility, it is no wonder that this popular salt is used for table salt and for a variety of decorative purposes. Because of their light and clean crystals, the fleur de sel crystals can be used in a number of different ways to create an array of tastes and textures. They can be used to give a soothing feeling to a room, to add subtle scent, or to create an intense and distinctive flavor.
There are many different types of fleur de sel available for purchase. Many people prefer the more natural and artisanal varieties that come from the sea. These fleur de sel crystals are handmade with the utmost care and they are rarely processed. The handcrafted crystals tend to retain a more intense flavor, because the artisan hands that make them are particularly careful. However, the artificial or mass-produced fleur de sel tends to lose a lot of its original flavor, as is sometimes done when salt is rushed through a process. This makes both types of salt highly desirable and useful in many circumstances.
The fleur de sel can be used for many purposes beyond food seasoning food in general. Because of the intensity of the flavors held within the crystals, there are a wide variety of dishes that can be prepared using these salty flavors. For example, a simple solution of fleur de sel salt crystals on rice, fish, or salad makes a wonderful contrast to the sweetness of the fruit, making for a delicious meal that does not sacrifice taste or enjoyment. Likewise, the salt crystals add an intense flavor to any water that you would use for a shower or bath, which will leave your body feeling refreshed and revitalized after a long and soak in the tub or shower.