Fleur de Sel or flower of salt is a flaky sea salt made by channeling seawater onto very flat plans and letting the water evaporate. The crust is then carefully scraped and used to make fleur de sel. This is most commonly associated with the Atlantic coastal region of France but is now produced in several countries such as Spain, Portugal, and Canada.
This salt is slightly damp and often grey or pinkish in color. The color in the salt comes from the minerals in the area where it is produced, these minerals also add a bit of flavor to the fleur de sel.
Fleur de Sel Substitutes
Koser salt is a large-grained salt that is named for its role in drawing the blood out of meat to render it clean, according to Jewish guidelines. The large grains keep the salt from dissolving as quickly as finer salts, which is a benefit of fleur de sel. When fleur de sel is sprinkled on food, it remains on the surface and provides saltiness along with a crunchy texture. Kosher salt is available in almost all grocery stores and relatively cheaper compared to finishing salts. When using as a substitute, use the same amount that your recipe calls for.
Sel Gris is another finishing salt and is actually the best substitute for Fleur de sel. A downside is that it is just as difficult to source. Sel Gris comes from the bottom layer of the flat plains where fleur de sel is also produced. The crystals are smaller and irregular in shape but have a stronger and brinier flavor compared to fleur de sel. It has a pale gray color due to its mineral content. This salt provides the same texture in dishes as fleur de sel and is perfect to use as a finishing salt on meat, casseroles, and vegetables. As with Kosher salt, use a 1:1 substitute for fleur de sel.
Maldon Sea Salt
This salt hails from Essex, England and is known for being one of the most significant ingredients that England has contributed to the world. This has pyramid-shaped crystals and is very popular with chefs. This salt has large crystals that provide the same salinity as fleur de sel. It is not as damp or moist as fleur de sel, so it’s much easier to sprinkle it evenly on dishes.
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