Fleur de Sel
Also called Sel Gris, Grey Salt, or Sel Marin
French Sea Salt
Hand Harvested Celtic Sea Salt
Natural Celtic sea salt is light grey in color, which comes from the sea minerals and clay found in the salt flats. The clay ionizes the minerals in the salt, making it even more beneficial
Harvested from the light film of salt which forms during the evaporation process. Fleur de Sel, Flower of Salt, Flor De Sal - Skimmed from the top of salt ponds early in the process of evaporation, this is considered a great condiment salt; also good on grilled meats, in salads and on vegetables. The flavor, like wines, varies depending on the region it is harvested from. Typically it is from France though some is produced in Portugal.
The gray or light purple color comes from the clay in the region of France where it is harvested. Collected using traditional Celtic hand methods.
Celtic (pronounced kel-tic with a hard "c") Sea Salt has been produced by the same hand methods of "salt farming" off the Brittany Coast of France for centuries.
It is naturally air and sun dried in clay ponds and gathered by hand with wooden tools such that it has a living enzyme content.
It is unrefined so it contains all 84 elements found in sea water. It is unadulterated with no anti-caking additives or bleaching. This is the historic way salt has been produced for thousands of years. This is the kind of salt spoken of so favorably in the Bible.
A grey French sea salt, hand harvested using the Celtic method of wooden rakes allowing no metal to touch the salt.
Celtic salts are available ground in different levels of coarseness. See sel gris.
Grey Sea Salt (also called grey salt, Celtic sea salt and sel gris [French]). Grey sea salt is a “moist,” unrefined sea salt harvested along the coastal areas of France. Its light grey color sometimes has a purplish hue, depending on the amount of clay found in the salt flats. One of the most famous salt ponds, in the salt marshes around the town of Guérande in Brittany, France, is lined with natural clay and produces very grey salts. The clay contributes valuable minerals and nutrients that add to both the nutritional value and flavor of the salts. Grey salt is collected by hand with wooden rakes by artisan paludiers (salt harvesters or salt rakers) who sweep the top of the evaporating sea water (this is an ancient Celtic method which earns the salt its name). For centuries a mainstay of French cooking, grey salt has gained great popularity in the mainstream culinary world over the last few years and is considered by many to be the best quality salt available. Fleur de Sel is a particular kind of grey salt.
SEL GRIS or CELTIC SALT or GREY SALT or SEL MARIN
A type of natural sea salt, in English translation grey salt, that is harvested from the Atlantic waters from the coastal area of the Guèrande, Brittany region of France, off the west-central coast of France. It is hand-harvested by paludiers who continually rake the salt beds.
They use the Celtic method of wooden rakes, allowing no metal to touch the salt; thus these also are called Celtic salts.
Colored light grey by the chemical deposits of the minerals in the salt beds, this salt is harvested as the water evaporates from moist basins, leaving the crusty saline as residue.
Naturally moist grey salt is an unrefined form of salt sought for it purity and flavor which comes from its rich mineral content. It has a sharper, bolder flavor than Fleur de Sel and is an excellent cooking salt. Use it to bake bread or on roasted cuts of meat. The town of Guérande and the nearby islands of Noirmoutier and Re’ have the only remaining, traditionally-harvested salt marshes in France. Salt sold in the three locations are labeled with the name of origin, so salt from Noirmoutier is called Sel Marin de Noirmoutier and salt from Guérande is called Sel Marin de Guérande. The salt is otherwise the same. See also paludier and polder Headline
Also called sel gris and Celtic salt, a “moist” unrefined sea salt found along the coastal areas of France. Its light grey color with purple tinge comes from the clay found in the salt flats. The salt is collected by hand using traditional Celtic methods. Grey salt is considered by many to be the best quality salt available.
Grey salt and Fleur de Sel are collected by hand with wooden rakes by artisan paludiers (salt harvesters, salt rakers or salt farmers) who sweep the top of the evaporating sea water. This is the same 1500-year-old method developed by their Celtic ancestors which earns the grey salt its alternate name of Celtic sea salt. New paludiers study for one year to learn the slow and precise movements and patient methods of the ancient craft. Most are drawn to the profession by a love of nature, working outdoors, and the romance of tradition. The average age of a paludier is now under 40, thanks both to a renewed interest in the craft and the explosion in popularity of sea salt. There are around 200 traditional paludiers in France today, working a total of 2,000 hectares of salt-marshes and producing an annual harvest of 10,000 tons of quality sea salt. See also saunier.
Polders are shallow clay pools that are created to harvest fine quality Atlantic sea salt.
Paludiers, sea salt farmers, are still today hand harvesting the mineral rich salt that collects in the shallow clay pools.
Currently, only 3,000 polders on Isle de Noirmoutier are maintained, e.g. but new paludiers are training and restoring more as time goes by.