On the southernmost part of Brittany, in a region dotted with celtic stones, and covered with heather, lays a flat land rich in clay along the Atlantic Ocean…Guérande, an immense labyrinth of salt beds.
Salt harvesting began in the region as early as the Neolithic, but it was in the Gallo-Roman era that the extraction by evaporation method was developed.
In the 9th Century, the monks ran the salt production and created the clay salt beds exactly as they are today.
Irrigated at each high tide, in the innermost parts, the water evaporates and the salt crystals are harvested daily from June to mid-September.
During the intense evaporation in the afternoon, fine crystals form on the surface, very white and pure, with a delicate perfume of violette, this is the “Fleur de sel” (flower of salt)
Symbol of french gastronomy, Guérande salt, and especially the Fleur de sel, graces the best tables in the world.
We are lucky to have my friend Christine that makes the weekly trip to our local market, selling her nice little bags of Fleur de sel, and very large bags of corse salt that I use for the delicious Salt Crusted Sea Bass, one of the recipes taught on my french cookery courses.