A Peek at Fleur De Sal Marshes
Fleur de sels are seaweed sheets found off the coasts of western Mediterranean areas. These tiny sheets of marine algae are rich in minerals and are known for their therapeutic properties. Some varieties are eaten, but most are used for making fleur de sel that is then sprinkled on food and other ingredients to add flavor and texture to foods and drinks.
Flour de sel is also known as fleur de sel, or fleur de sals. This type of salt is harvested from the ocean floor off the shores of western Mediterranean countries including Spain, Greece, Italy, France, Turkey, Egypt, and Portugal. It is typically harvested from waters that are colder and have higher oxygen content than seawater. The harvesting for this kind of salt is done by hand using a hooked net or similar device that collects the tiny sheets of sulfur-containing seaweed as they fall from the water. It can take several days for the sheet to be collected, which explains why some products have a hint of sulfur even though the product is made from a completely natural product.
Seaweed is naturally rich in minerals and other elements such as sulfur. As these minerals dissolved in seawater, they are separated out into different salts with different compositions. The fleur de sel crystals are the result of the salt’s different compositions as well as its lack of oxygen content. When the salt flakes gather together and get separated from each other, they look like tiny finger sprinkles. When people buy this product to use on food or as a natural ingredient in recipes, they are buying a very tiny piece of a very large piece of a very colorful ocean. There is no way that the salt can ever be considered salty, unless it has an excess amount of oxygen that brought about the separation.
The distinctive taste of fleur de sel is closely related to the concentration and texture of the minerals and other elements in the water evaporating to the ocean. Because the concentration and texture of minerals in the water evaporate more slowly than the salt crystal itself, the flavor tends to stay on top rather than sinking to the bottom. Most people refer to the taste as salty.
One of the reasons why the fleur de sel product does not immediately evaporate into the water is the temperature of the seawater at the harvesting point. Natural conditions tend to be warm; therefore, the water evaporates faster. At times, even when the harvesting area is close to the equator, temperatures can be so high that evaporation of the seawater slows down significantly. This effect is known as the “freezing point”.
During the winter season, most of the water evaporates from the seawater and enters the land by snowfall. The warmer temperatures of springtime make the temperature of the seawater fall below freezing point. Because of this, evaporation is again fast. As the salt crystallizes, tiny air particles are forced to enter the crystal lattice. These are like dust particles. The process of evaporation takes place until all of the salt is dissolved and none is left in the flor de sal.
During the summertime, evaporation is slow during the day and the seawater is colder. The morning dew evaporates first and the evening dew follows close behind. The same goes for the sea water that is collected in the marshes during the spring and summer seasons.
Fleur de sels have different salts as well as minerals in them. Different fleur de sel salts can have different melting points. Some of these salts can even be used in cooking since they dissolves easily in oil. In fact, fleur de sel is often combined with other ingredients to make cookies and pastries. With its varied properties and availability, it is easy to see why this type of salt is important to know when planning on a vacation in the French region of Marshes.