French salt is a familiar term to those who have spent time around the sea and coastal areas. Fleur de Sel salt has become a preferred table salt in western cultures as well as France.
These french salt are actually quite a bit different from regular table salt and can be found anywhere from France to Italy. These salts originated from the Sea of Galilee and the Sea of Marmora. Over time, they were carried to China and then into western Europe where they became popular.
To truly understand the role of the fleur de sel, one must first understand the history of table salt. As a matter of fact, before the development of the modern ways of manufacturing salt, it was actually preserved salt that made up the majority of table salt. There are actually two varieties of table salt, organic and inorganic salts.
Table salt is generally very similar to the salt found in seas or rivers, and while it was known for its ability to dissolve into liquids, there was never any consideration that it would need to be able to be melted and poured onto foods. Prior to the development of processed table salt, people usually used pounded salt to season foods. The process of crushing the salt allowed it to crystallize and form large crystals.
The crystallization of the salt also led to the less smooth texture of table salt. After a while, industrialized methods were developed and created for using table salt to season food. New processes were used to further improve the appearance of the salt crystals and the texture. The most well-known method used to improve the crystals and texture of table salt was to grind it up and then dissolve it in an oven at high temperatures.
In short, fleur de sel salt is the salt produced by this process. It contains smaller crystals that are easier to dissolve in liquids than traditional table salt. These salt crystals form very fine needles that are not too coarse, and can be a lovely accent to many food dishes.
The fleur de sel salt also comes in a variety of colors. A white fleur de sel salt is rare and typically only available through specialty retailers and salons. The most popular color is pink salt, which is also more expensive.
Although fleur de sel is much different from sea salt, it is still a wonderful table salt. The fact that it comes in a variety of colors and even some that are brightly colored is a nice touch. While sea salt is often a lighter pink or yellow, fleur de sel can be in a beautiful rich red, blue, or even green.
While one of the main differences between sea salt and fleur de sel is the color, it is also important to note that both of these table salts have their own unique properties. Sea salt is very porous and can hold more minerals than other salts. Sea salt can also be more prone to mineral deposits and stains, which is why it is highly recommended that sea salt is properly washed.
Fleur de sel salt, on the other hand, has a higher percentage of dissolved solids and has a more uniform texture. While both salts can stain, fleur de sel has a tendency to be more stain resistant. This allows it to be a perfect salt for seasoning food without having to worry about food getting stained.
While it is possible to use fleur de sel salt to season food, it is important to remember that it can only be used on cold cuts and poultry and fish. When it comes to meats such as beef, the white fleur de sel salt will prevent it from drying out while other salts will ruin the beef. Although this type of salt is very strong, it is advised that one use small amounts so that it doesn't melt the meat.
While the amount of time it takes to dissolve a fleur de sel salt is far longer than that of sea salt, it is still necessary to use it to season food. Both types of salt can be mixed together to create a great flavored marinara sauce, or seafood stock.