During the earth's formation, the Guérande salt ponds in Brittany, northwestern France , were part of a bay in the Atlantic Ocean . The gradual retreat of the sea left behind a series of floodable pools.
By the Middle Ages, the ocean had tried to reclaim its territory, but man had already modeled the landscape to extract the "white gold". Between 1540 and 1660, the salt pond area was definitively established and salt from Guérande was in demand and traveled all over the world.
A gigantic mosaic of salt ponds, the Guérande peninsula retains and subdues the ocean's tides. The twofold action of the sun and the wind bring into existence sea salt, a completely natural and unprocessed source of elements trace and taste.
Two kinds of sea salt are produced in the ponds: Coarse Gray Sea Salt and Sea Salt Blossom.
"GROS SEL" or Coarse Gray Sea Salt
These salt crystals are formed on the bottom of the salt pond. Using a large rake-like tool, the salt gatherer detaches the crystals which he will eventually haul out of the water and pile into a pyramid shape to dry.
Each salt pond section can produce approximately 50 kg per day.
We recommend coarse salt as a replacement for ordinary salt in cooking. In France , table salt as we know it is rarely found. The more natural and highly salting coarse salt is used both in home cooking and fine cuisine by professional chefs.
When the wind blows from the east, fine crystals form on the surface of the salt pond, forming "Fleur de sel" or what we call "sea salt blossom" in English. This is the very top of the line, the best salt on the planet. Several grains suffice for flavoring an individual serving.
When harvested, "fleur de sel" is pale pink color. It becomes white after drying naturally in the sun. The salt gatherer harvests it with a special rake.
Sea salt blossom with its subtle taste of violets is wonderful used at the table to replace ordinary table salt.