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Old 03-13-2007, 11:40 AM   #1
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Fleur De Sel

Anyone cook with Fleur de Sol (or Grey Salt)? Can you describe the taste? What kinds of dishes have you prepared with same? Worth the money? TIA


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Old 03-13-2007, 11:50 AM   #2
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I would not cook with it. It's taste and texture would be lost that way.

IMO, it's a finishing salt. I use it on salads, vegetables, breads, meats, etc just before serving.

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Old 03-13-2007, 12:04 PM   #3
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I'm even more specific than jennyema: I use it almost exclusively on my homegrown tomatoes. Got that idea from someone here on DC.

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Old 03-13-2007, 12:14 PM   #4
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I have both in my kitchen. The grey salt is from Britanny and is very coarse, the fleur de sel is from Portugal and is in grains that are larger and much more irregular in form than table salt. In my household, we're not great salt users but I like to have good salt. Unlike jennyema I use both in cooking, simply because there's no point in me having yet another salt in the house. Just to give you an idea, 250 g of fleur de sel has lasted me four years, and of the kg of grey salt, I bet I've used barely 50 g.

But jennyema's right, fleur de sel is excellent for sprinkling on food just before serving. It tastes saltier than ordinary salt - like concentrate of sea breeze - and has a nice crunchy but giving texture. Can't describe it any other way.

I use the grey salt for sprinkling on fish, for example, when baking. Otherwise I grind it in a pestle and mortar.

The grey salt is different in taste. I hope I'm not being influenced by its appearance when I say it's somehow muddier in taste. If you imagine salt as musical notes, fleur de sel is high pitched, grey salt is low pitched.

I've no idea how much these salts are in the States. I bought the fleur de sel here in Spain for 8 euros. The Britanny salt was bought by my mum at the place where it's made so I have no idea what it cost. I'd say the fleur de sel is worth the price, and not just because it's lasted me so long. If you've paid a lot for a really good steak, fleur de sel makes a relatively cheap but perfect finishing touch.
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Old 03-13-2007, 12:17 PM   #5
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I just purchased some alder wood smoked sea salt from this website that sells fresh dried herbs and spices. It is wonderful for finishing dishes. One thing I have learned thru much trial & error is that less is more when finishing dishes w/ sea salt. You can purchase small amounts to try for yourself instead of shelling out good money for something you have not tried for yourself @ Welcome to World Spice Merchants. I have had personal experience w/ this vendor, and they are good, and reasonably priced, and have very high quality spices and blends. Order yourself a couple of ounces of sea salts, and try for yourself.
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Old 03-13-2007, 12:23 PM   #6
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I use it as a finishing salt, but I can ot detect a difference in flavor between that and my kosher salt. What I like about it is the size and shape of the crystals. The provide a great crunch and burst of salt. Perfect on tomatoes.
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Old 03-13-2007, 01:09 PM   #7
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Hi Mish,
Fleur de Sal, is the first fancy salt I tried..I love it..I use it on summer sweet tomatoes, and mostly as a finishing salt...I do however use it over the top of my marsala dishes be it veal or chicken or pork..I find it gives my foccacia a wonderful crisp salt tang that makes it great to eat even with out our usual Italian meats and cheeses..The taste is of salt, but it's a softer kind of taste..If I were going to give a kitchen gift, Fleur de Sal and a salt box would be a lovely gift...

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Old 03-13-2007, 03:41 PM   #8
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Thank you all for your replies! Appreciate the input and advice.
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Old 04-08-2007, 05:15 AM   #9
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I bought it once. The coarse ground was SO course and trust me, I prefer anything coarse rather than fine) almost broke a tooth. As far as flavor, I don't think anyone can tell you about that except your own taste buds. I think most of us would benefit from a blind taste test for a lot of foods. In this case, I really cannot taste the difference between salts. I like to use Kosher (i.e., a little bit coarser than plain old iodized salt) salt most of the time. But once a dish is cooked, you could put just about any salt in it and I couldn't tell the difference, and I really don't know anyone who could (they claim they could, but when tested, guess what?) So save the fancy salts for impressing your acquaintances, but don't bother to cook with them!

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