Fleur de sel
Fleur de sel ("flower of salt" in French; French pronunciation: [flœr də sɛl]) or flor de sal (in Portuguese, Spanish and Catalan) is a hand-harvested sea salt collected by workers who scrape only the top layer of salt before it sinks to the bottom of large salt pans. Traditional French fleur de sel is collected off the coast of Brittany, most notably in the town of Guérande (Fleur de Sel de Guérande being the most revered), but also in Noirmoutier, Île de Ré and Camargue.
Flor de sal also has a large production in Portugal, mostly in Aveiro District and in Algarve, being commercialized worldwide from the ancient salt production regions existing in this country, by traditional methods, with high certified quality standards. It is an artisanal food product. Due to its relative scarcity and its labor-intensive production, flor de sal (flower of salt/fleur de sel) is one of the most expensive salts.
Brazil has also started producing some flor de sal in the traditional salt-producing area of Mossoró, in the state of Rio Grande do Norte, albeit not to the same standards as the European product, and iodized, as mandated by Brazilian law for all salt intended for direct human consumption.
Fleur de sel is often slightly grey due to the sand collected in the process of harvesting the salt from the pans. On occasion, the presence of Dunaliella salina (a type of pink microalga commonly found in salt marshes) can give it a light pink tint. It is usually sold in sealed jars.
Fleur de sel has more mineral complexity than common table salt. Fleurs de sel are moist salts. Portuguese brand Flos Salis, for instance, contains from 5.4 to 8.1% residual moisture, while others can reach upwards of 10%. The following is a chemical analysis of Flos Salis:
|Sodium chloride||94.3 - 97.6%|
|Calcium||0.19 - 0.20%|
|Magnesium||0.42 - 0.79%|
|Potassium||0.22 - 0.67%|
|Iron||8.0 - 11.1 mg/kg|
|Iodine||0.5 - <3 mg/kg|
See also 
- http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2006/09/fleur-de-sel-de-1/ | David Lebovitz on fleur de sel
- Orenstein, José (14 Nov 2012). "É sol, é sal, é flor de sal". O Estado de São Paulo ("Estadão") (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2012-11-15.
- Bitterman, Mark (2010). Salted: A Manifesto on the World's Most Essential Mineral, With Recipes. Ten Speed Press. p. 75. ISBN 978-1-58008-262-4.