Flor de Sal
The Flor de Sal is truly one of the finest salts in the world!
Salt is not always the same, one of the best salts is undoubtedly the Flor de Sal. The following article is intended to give some indication of why this is the case.
For what reasons is the Flor de Sal so precious?
The treasure of Flor de Sal is, first and foremost, related to its extraction. Unlike, for example, the rock salt, the Flor de Sal is harvested. To understand the process of harvesting, you must first be aware that this particular salt is genuine sea salt. How is this salt filtered from the sea? The water from the sea is passed through channels in special catch basins. Since there is no flow in these pools, a thin layer of salt forms on the surface after only a short time due to the evaporation of the seawater. This layer of salt is called salt flower. The term Flor de Sal is nothing more than the Spanish expression of this word. To harvest the salt flower, the ingredient is skimmed off with a device that resembles a large shovel. In fact, it's a big scraper with a long wooden handle. The water in the pool is moved so that the resulting wave collects the salt in a corner of the pool. Now the layer is removed with the scraper and collected at the pool edge. However, the crops that are described do not really yield much, so the hard work makes the Flor de Sal so precious. In order to obtain an even better quality, the harvested salt is finally thoroughly sieved again. Furthermore, salt pans often have to be re-laid every spring. The so-called salt gardens are, due to the described steps, of course, very laborious jobs for the salt farmers (Salineiros). But there is another reason why the Flor de Sal is a real delicacy. In order to be allowed to call themselves that, an ingredient must be very scarce, which is the case of the salt flower due to the weather, during the harvest, of course - the obtained salt dissolves naturally in case of rain. In the case of Floe de Sal, there are also bad seasons, particularly rainy ones, that make it difficult for the precious Flor de Sal to be harvested, making it even more rare and precious. The most important factors why the Flor de Sal is so noble are:
- The harvest of the salt flower is very exhausting.
- The salt pools often have to be recreated every season.
- The yield of the harvest is rather low.
- Bad weather also negatively influences the harvest.
Is there a visual difference to other salt?
Yes, there is definitely a visual difference to other salts. Flor de Sal usually has a very pure white. However, the color may vary depending on the bottom of the salt basin. There are varieties that, due to the loamy soil, have a slightly brownish color and again some that are even pale pink. The individual salt molecules of the Flor de Sal have a pronounced, crystalline structure. These coarse salt crystals are even noticeable in the mouth, while they are slowly dissolving on the tongue. The salt grains of the Flor de Sal are thus ultimately slightly larger than those of other salt. The Flor de Sal is always a bit wetter than conventional table salt. Due to the origin of the sea, the Flor de Sal is provided with a certain residual moisture, which can be seen with the naked eye. The external differences have been summarized again in an overview:
- The color differs from conventional salt.
- The Flor de Sal has a crystalline structure.
- The salt is coarser than other salts.
- Flor de Sal is wetter than traditional salt.
The Flor de Sal is a very healthy spice!
This particular salt is a true health promoter. The Flor de Sal is richly blessed with the minerals and trace elements of the sea. Among other things, the Flor de Sal provides the body with important calcium, selenium and magnesium. Of course, the Flor de Sal is also a source of essential iodine, which is essential for healthy thyroid function, for example. Unlike many industrially produced salts, the Flor de Sal does not contain any additional iodine. Also, the use of other additives is completely omitted. The Flor de Sal is a pure natural product, which is dried under the sun. The harvest season of Flor de Sal is from spring to mid-August.
Where does the Flor de Sal come from?
In Europe, the Flor de Sal is harvested mainly on the Spanish coast, the Mediterranean islands, for example Mallorca, and on the Atlantic coast of Portugal. The precious and tasty salt flower is also harvested successfully in many other parts of the world, for example in America, in Sri Lanka and also in Israel. Basically, only the right conditions have to prevail for a successful production of Flor de Sal. These are a dry and warm climate, with a salty water in the immediate vicinity.
Is there a difference to Fleur de Sel?
Of course there is, but it is much smaller than expected. The Fleur de Sel is nothing more than the French variant of salt and is harvested mainly on the French coast.
How is Flor de Sal used in the kitchen?
The Flor de Sal is served mainly for seasoning cold dishes such as salad or as a meal at the table. This is due to the very aromatic taste of the salt, which holds best on non-cooked foods. As already described, the Flor de Sal is always slightly wetter than conventional salt. For this reason, this particular salt is not suitable for a salt shaker. Even in a salt mill, the use can be problematic, but that depends on the respective grinder of the mill. In the worst case, the kitchen tools would really stick together. In general, the fine, mild taste of Flor de Sal fits to all foods, due to the close connection to the sea, but this salt is particularly well suited as a spice for fish and seafood. This is especially true for raw marinated fish, such as tuna or salmon. The uses are therefore:
- Flor de Sal is used for seasoning raw foods (such as tuna, salad)
- The Flor de Sal is often served for a meal to relish.
The salt flower known since antiquity has become popular again for some time!
The harvest of sea salt is really not a new process, even the ancient Romans used the Flor de Sal thousands of years ago. The extraction of so-called "white gold" has not really changed since. But since only such small quantities of the precious good can be obtained, it has long been forgotten. Only since the end of the last century has the Flor de Sal again found its way into the kitchens of this world. The extremely tasty and healthy salt is again not only popular with top chefs, but also with many individuals.
What is the difference between Flor de Sal and other sea salt?
Of course, the Flor de Sal, strictly speaking, is also a sea salt. The already described harvest of the salt flower makes it so special. If the salt farmers do not remove the upper salt layer in the basins, a centimeter-thick, fairly solid crust of salt deposits gradually forms. This salt must then even more laboriously, be taken down, with muscle power. So, in principle, both salts are one and the same salt, only the timing of the harvest ultimately determines whether it is an ordinary sea salt or whether it is the much nobler Flor de Sal.
What is the conclusion about Flor de Sal?
Flor de Sal is salt from the sea, which is harvested very laboriously. For this purpose, the seawater is channeled into basins. As soon as the evaporation process starts, the so-called salt flower forms on the surface (span Flor de Sal). Since the harvest is so exhausting and the yield relatively low, the Flor de Sal is so extremely precious. If the salt flower were not skimmed off, a relatively thick salt layer would form in the basin relatively quickly. This salt can then be declared only as a simple sea salt. Unlike other salts, the Flor de Sal is very white, but there are also variants with colored accents. The different colors of the salt are related to the bottoms of the catch basins. The special Flor de Sal is always slightly wetter than traditional salt. The Flor de Sal is considered a very healthy natural product, it contains a lot of minerals and trace elements. The regions of origin of Flor de Sal are located throughout the Spanish-speaking Mediterranean area. However, when Fleur de Sel is mentioned, it is the French counterpart - Fleur de Sel, which is mainly obtained on the French coast. In the kitchen, the precious Flor de Sal is mainly used for seasoning raw foods, such as fish or as relish to table meals. Only in this way will the unique taste of Flor de Sal can be preserved.