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Mar 23, 2002 09:35 PM

fleur de sel--how to use?

  • h

Any fleur de sel chowhounds out there? What do you like to put it on, and how do you store it?

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  1. I love fleur de sel on fresh in-season tomatoes, and corn on the cob. But my favorite use is on all kinds of melons, and especially watermelon. I like it on steamed fresh vegetables (try it on fresh al dente green beans) with a bit of butter. it's great stuff. I don't use it for cooking, but as a seasoning after food is ready to eat. For cooking I use kosher salt. Enjoy your fleur de sel. Oh, and I store it with my spices in the little jar in comes in. Pat

    1. It's just sea salt -- the choice pure white layer raked off the top of the drying racks. Its primary virtue is cosmetic. In its pure form, salt is salt; any difference between what is mined and what is produced by evaporation is the result of mineral "impurities". Sel gris for instance, the coarse gray sea salt which is so cheap in large bags and so expensive in little packages, contains a lot of minerals which the evaporative process does not remove; therefore certain chefs prefer it for cooking, and particularly the sel gris of certain coastal areas.

      The use of particular salts for particular purposes is also determined by its texture. For instance, coarse moist sel gris would be unpleasant sprinkled over food just before eating. Some people particularly value the sharp crystaline texture of Maldon salt, which is evaporatively produced by a unique process.

      As for fleur de sel, the frequency with which you use it will be determined primarily by its cost. In ordinary cooking, it's rather wasted.