Fleur de sels are tiny beads made from an underground spring of salt known as lairement de sea in France. This salty material is pulled out of the earth by means of a process called sieving. When the salt is pulled out it is mixed with water and ground up into a fine powder. This powder is then compressed into a white rock-powder consistency and mixed with petroleum jelly to make a thick paste. This is then ground up and added to ingredients such as sea food, stock, and fish.
Fleur de sels are translucent and light yellow in color; however, they do not have the same texture as other types of salts, so they will not readily accept dyes and coloring pigments. They also have a very unique mineral content, one that makes fleur de sel a unique type of mineral food. Fleur de sels contain zinc, iron, manganese, calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chromium, and calcium carbonate. The mineral content varies slightly from seawater through natural currents to marine Dead Sea. Some manufacturers use other minerals, but using fleur de sel is the most natural and least expensive way to add these trace minerals to your cooking and baking recipes.
During the eighteen hundreds France became famous for the production and export of fleur de sel. France became famous for many things, but the biggest thing was for the flavors it added to all of its meals. As a chef, you want your food to be flavorful, and using fleur de sel to flavor your food is an excellent way to do this. You can use fleur de sel to make breads, pastas, salads, juices, and more.
To prepare fleur de sel for use in cooking, start by drying it in the sun over open flame until it’s almost dry. This process will take several days, and it’s best if you keep your salt outside. The next step is to drain it in large, shallow pools of water. France has some of the best, deepest sea waters on earth. Many people prefer to use seawater for this salt, because the water is so deep, and there are so many minerals in seawater that are very beneficial for the health of the skin.
Because fleur de sel is so rich in minerals it also has a unique texture. It can be thin or thick. Thin fleur de sel is great for applying to the skin as seasoning, or even just on its own as an additive to a recipe. You can even use fleur de sel gris for cooking, because it has a very rich texture and flavor. Because of the texture and rich flavor of this type of salt, it’s often added as a flavoring to sauces.
Fleur de sels are not just for salty dishes though. They have a slightly sweet flavor, and a texture somewhere between bread dough and coarse sea salt. This salty flavor is often the base for cooking recipes, and often used in rice, fish, or pasta sauces. If you’re trying to mimic the flavor of the French, fleur de sel isn’t just for salty foods, its perfect for foods that call for a little bit of sweetness.
Because fleur de sel is so salty, it can also make baked potatoes or rice taste a little bit less salty. This makes it a versatile salt for cooking. It pairs wonderfully with delicate foods such as fruit sauces, cheeses, or desserts that lack complexity or flavor. It also pairs well with butter cream, as it has a light flavor and a subtle smell.
Because fleur de sel tends to have an abundance of iodine, it’s also used to add a small amount of flavor to ice cream or milk. This is because its texture is somewhat similar to that of iodine water, which has a slightly salty taste. This watery flavor can help to counteract the richness of the ice cream or milk, creating a smooth consistency for your ice cream. Iodized water evaporates at a much lower rate than regular water, so even if your ice cream tastes a bit less creamy after using fleur de sel, it will return to its true flavor with a little time.