“France has thought me that superior ingredients make the best food. I took a trip to the salt marshes of Guérande to watch the precious Fleur de Sel sea salt being harvested. I have learned from a local family the recipe for the ultimate Salted Caramel refined by generations of artisans.” Pandora Bell.
When Pandora Bell emersed herself in French Food and culture during her 1930’s Journey around Europe by rail. The great lesson from France was a simple one that would inspire her confectionery collection. “Excellent Ingredients create Excellent Food.”
That is why, at Pandora Bell we use the famous Fleur de Sel Sea Salt in our Caramel range. This is heralded as the finest salt in the world…. And it is!
So what is Fleur de Sel and why do Chefs Globally covet this precious ingredient which appears in Michelin Starred Restaurants and Haute Cuisine all over the world. Fleur de sel is a variety of sea salt from Brittany in France. Its name translates as “Flower of salt.”
If you have a passion for good ingredients, think of Fleur de sel like you would think of good quality olive oil or fresh herbs, that can lift an ordinary dish into something extraordinary. Fleur de sel is complex in flavour. It is also considered to be among the saltier of salts. Due to the salt’s high moisture content, the salt won’t dissolve right away on your tongue, allowing the taste to linger in your mouth.
Although the words ‘fleur de sel’ have been bantered around and used as marketing tools for many salts, the true original and the finest is Fleur de Sel de Guérande. Salt harvesting in Guérande in Brittany France began in the year 868.
Sel de Guérande is harvested by hand, raked from the salty ocean water from the Atlantic that’s carefully guided into shallow marshes through a complex series of various, winding waterways. It floats down a narrow path encircling the marshes and ultimately into the marshes, the œillets. Starting out, ocean water has roughly 27 grams of salt per liter, but by the time the water makes it way into the œillets, it’s far saltier, containing 300 grams of salt per liter.
In the marshes, a fine layer of salt collects on the surface, and is gently raked up disturbing the tender crust as little as possible during the process. The salt is raked by specialists, a delicate job originally entrusted only to women, by people called paludiers.
The salt is still hand-harvested in Guérande to this day.
To understand the beauty of Fleur de Sel, you simply must taste it yourself. Try and compare it to some standard table salt and experience the difference. Table salt will forever feel harsh and bitter.
Use sprinkles of fleur de sel on anything that needs a little extra flavour right before going to the table. Try it on salads, fish, vegetables and of course…. Desert.
Mixing sweet with salty is not a recent craze and the Salted Butter Caramel has been a traditional favourite in Brittany for decades. These traditional recipes are what we use at Pandora Bell for our Salted Butter Caramels with the precious Fleur de Sel Salt allowing a delicate salty aftertaste.
Perfect combinations in our collection are