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Everything you Need to Know about Exceptional "made in France" Salts

Salt is commonly used in our dishes as a flavor enhancer. But between Guérande salt, Camargue or Noirmoutier, which one to choose? We take stock.

Fleur de sel, fine salt, coarse salt ...

On a daily basis, we often hear about fleur de sel, fine salt, coarse salt or even flavored salt, without understanding the specificities of each. Small remedial course:

Fine salt is used to season dishes in small touches. Meats, sauces or even cake preparations, it allows you to adapt recipes to your taste.
Coarse salt is typically used while cooking, in water for pasta, or for cooking salt-crusted meat or fish.
Fleur de sel brings a final touch to an exceptional dish. It is appreciated on a toast of foie gras, to spice up roast meat or even enhance a dessert.
Flavored salt is mixed with spices (pepper, curry or aromatic herbs) and is used like fine salt.

Guérande salt

Harvested by hand for thousands of years at the foot of the Guérande hillside in Brittany, Guérande salt is the delicate fruit of the ocean, the sun, the wind and the traditional actions of salt workers. Indeed, it is thanks to the heat of the sun that the seawater basins called salt marshes evaporate and that man can thus harvest the crystallized salt. Its legend of "the best salt in the world" lies in this authentic know-how, in the low level of salinity of the Atlantic Ocean and in the quality of the clay marshes in which the salt crystallizes.

“In the mouth, the fleur de sel from Guérande crunches under the tooth and melts under the tongue. Its taste is much less pronounced than ordinary salt, much sweeter, ”explains Gilles Morel, independent salt worker in Guérande (1). So we bet on this gourmet ally and we try without further delay, this recipe for beetroot in a Guérande salt crust or this foie gras confit in walnut oil, cherry tomatoes and Guérande salt. Chefs are also particularly fond of it, Frédéric Vardon, who adopted it and uses it as a flavoring, in this recipe for roasted white asparagus from the Landes, morels in yellow Jura wine.

Camargue salt

In the Camargue near the Mediterranean Sea, 145,300 hectares are salt marshes. And for good reason, naturally present in the region's soils, salt has been cultivated there since Antiquity. Salt production therefore lends itself particularly well to the territory. In addition, the land is flat and the rain density is low, which facilitates the evaporation of water and therefore the collection of salt. This drought is also the cause of its white color. On the plate, Camargue salt harmoniously enhances flavors, from the simplest to the most refined, providing the body with a good source of magnesium, potassium and trace elements. To be tested urgently. Chef Pierre Augé, a worthy representative of his region, is particularly fond of it.

Salt from Salies-de-Béarn 

Found naturally in the depths of the Pyrenees, the salt of Salies-de-Béarn is obtained by simple evaporation of groundwater. Collected in a salt pan, the water is heated by the sun and evaporates, forming large grains which are then collected with a dip net. This traditional production method produces naturally white salt petals rich in trace elements and magnesium. In the kitchen, it is favored by the producers of the IGP Jambon de Bayonne for salting. This recipe for mille-feuille with goat cheese and Bayonne ham or this tempting fillet of roasted red mullet with Espelette pepper pepper and Bayonne ham will allow you to taste Salies-de-Béarn salt. Alain Darroze, cousin of chef Hélène Darroze and native of the capital of the Basque Country, would be a particular fan.

Noirmoutier salt

On the island of Noirmoutier, formerly the island of Her, the salt harvest dates back to 674. In the 1980s, most salt workers abandoned their salt production activities to devote themselves to the famous eponymous potatoes of the region. It was only ten years later that some of them decided to resume their production and find a place in the luxury product: Fleur de sel from Noirmoutier. Crystallized on the surface of the water, it is carefully picked and sorted by the salt worker before being laid out in the sun on wooden tables to dry. On the palate, Noirmoutier fleur de sel develops rare violet flavors. Soft and delicate, it sits on the tables of the greatest chefs. Sprinkle it on crunchy vegetables or on exceptional dishes, as in this foie gras recipe with salt, chestnut alcohol and truffle or when dressing this jelly with lemon, vanilla foam and fleur de sel.

Salt from the Ile de Ré

The first salt marshes on the Ile de Ré date from the 15th century. Salt was then the most important activity on the Vendée coast, its function of preserving food making it essential throughout Europe. What makes Atlantic Island salt famous today is also, and above all, its undeniable quality. The fleur de sel is harvested manually and with care from the surface of the water. It is a product resulting from traditional know-how. It embellishes the most refined dishes by emphasizing the freshness and naturalness of the ingredients and sublimates the soft butter caramels and caramel creams, specialties of the region.