Fleur de sel is a special type of dried flower of salt that is harvested from salt rocks located at the eastern tip of France, along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The flower of salt has been harvested since biblical times, when ancient Israelites would use it as an alternative to fat from animal fat. For this reason, the salt itself is also referred to as “blood of the goat.” The flower of salt has its name because of its composition; it contains sulfuric acid (caustic soda) and magnesium chloride, among other elements. Today, this type of flower of salt is used in a variety of cooking recipes as well as for its unique crunch and smooth texture.
Fleur de sel is also known as flower of salt because of its similarity to the popular flower of salt, the fleur de lis. Fleur de sel originally referred to salt marsh, and was probably first translated into English as ” salty flower of the marsh.” The flower of salt has come a long way in its journey through time and culture. In fact, during the Middle Ages, the fleur de lis was used as a symbol of royalty. Kings often presented their queens with a bouquet of fresh-cut lilies on their wedding day. Queen Elizabeth II even declared the salt “holy salt,” and in Australia the salt can be purchased as a single-ply white paper product called Fleur de Sole.
Many people choose to use the flower of salt as a garnish for their salty foods. A popular recipe is for rice or risotto, in which the grains are sprinkled with a light salty flower of salt. Another favorite is to combine chopped fresh rosemary, chives, garlic, and/or onions with olive oil and heat in an oven. After a short time, the mixture becomes a creamy, velvety, flavor-packed treat that’s impossible to leave out!
France is well known for its cuisine and the country is home to some of the finest restaurants in the world. Many of these restaurants feature an amazing collection of pastries, confections, and desserts including the fleur de sel flower of salt. These pastries are a delicacy due to their uniqueness, and chefs often use them to improve the flavor of existing recipes. One of these pastries is named La Crudaise de France, and is the most expensive pastry in the world. It’s worth the expense not only for the taste, but also for the method of preparation – chef weighs the ingredients, presses the dough to perfection, then leaves it to dry.
The fleur de sel is a symbol of wealth and prestige in France, and was traditionally given as a symbol of an impending wedding or new found friendship. The flower of salt mined from the mines of Corsia is usually reserved for this occasion. When purchasing a table salt jar, look for a symbol representing wealth and prosperity. Fleur de sels are usually a golden circle surrounded by inscribed lines.
France has a long history with sea salt, and its consumption has been prevalent since antiquity. The discovery of America gave rise to the consumption of fleur de lis, and soon after, America itself became the melting pot of different cultures and ideas. This long history has created a long history of cultural cross pollination. America’s fondness for sea salt became known all over Europe, and soon other lands discovered the unique taste and texture of this salt. Soon after, it was brought to the New World and began to spread throughout Europe.
For centuries the fleur de sel has represented France and its culture. In modern times, the flower of salt has also become associated with fashion. As more people are becoming conscious about their appearance, they are choosing items such as neckties with various patterns that include the fleur de sel. Moreover, more designer shops are beginning to use the flower of salt as inspiration for their designs. One very famous trend that has emerged is the incorporation of the fleur de sel into designer handbags and shoes.
Today, the fleur de sel has many interpretations. It is still very much linked with France and its rich cultural heritage. However, the salty flower of salt has also begun to take on a more fashionable aspect. Most fashion designers have developed their own version, most often influenced by the traditional motifs and symbols of French art. These designs are often kept in show cases, or displayed prominently in the hallway leading to the entrances of homes and businesses.