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Maldon salt vs. fleur de sel

I just returned from France. One of the restaurants we dined at had a small container with a hinged-lid and a small wooden spoon on the side. I think "fleur de sel" was painted on the container. I used the salt on my dish and liked it.

The next day I saw a similar container for sale at the market. I thought it would make a nice inexpensive souvenir and bought one. I also figured it would be a convenient way to use the Maldon salt I bought months ago and never seem to get around to using. But now I realize that Maldon isn't the same as fleur de sel.

What do you think? Can I use the Maldon in the container I bought? Or should I go out and buy fleur de sel to put in it?

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    1. Its fine,I would do it.I first starting buying fleur de sel 8 yrs ago buying online.Fabulous taste for my immature(for salt) palate.Pontiac excitement.I started buying Maldon 3 yrs ago and enjoy the taste,price,and its readily available.Fleur has a brighter flavor,but Maldon isnt some crummy tasting mass market sea salt that some corporation is dumping on us.Buy some fleur,fill your french jar and tell your dining guests all you know about it.They wont have a clue what you're talking about.Refill it with your Maldon,and go back and forth between the 2.Now you're very French and very British

      1. Why would you not put Maldon in it? It's just a container, after all.

        And you'll be putting Britain's second best salt in it (IMO, of course) - so that can't be bad. You might want to look out for Halen Mon salt

        1 Reply
        1. re: Harters

          Like Harters I say use your French container for any salt you like.

        2. You should go out and buy some nice fleur de sel to refill your original container, and then go out and get a nice container for your Maldon! They're very different, so why not have your cake and eat it too! Use the Maldon for your fresh veg like salads, or wherever you want a bright, explosive pop of salt that vanishes like a spark. Use your fleur for toast and butter, fish, pork, apples and watermelon, or whereever you want a delicately persistent mineral glitter of salt.

          1. Thanks for all the replies. You know, I think I was trying in my own convoluted way to understand the difference between the two salts; I wasn't sure Maldon salt had the same applications as fleur de del. But selmelier has kindly addressed this spot-on!

            Now that I have been enlightened I actually think I would be better off using my new container for fleur de del; I just see more opportunities for adding salt to fish, pork, etc than to fresh veggies and salads. Eh, though this does nothing to help me use up the Maldon salt I've had sitting around. PLUS it means I should go out and buy fleur, which is kind of annoying as the whole point of getting the container was to use up the Maldon.

            Okay, I know I'm obsessing. Maybe I'll just put Maldon in the container and focus on using the salt whenever possible.

            7 Replies
            1. re: uwsgrazer

              "Obsessing" seems about right. The differences between these dirty salts (because that's essentially what differentiates "foofy" salt from regular salt) are as much the product of marketing as they are of actual taste differences.

              1. re: ferret

                Interesting. Well, "they" got me, at least to some extent. I think I've got at least six different varieties of salt in my kitchen at the moment.

                Okay, I'm off to put the Maldon in my new French container :)

                1. re: uwsgrazer

                  I've got 19 salts but most are from different countries - I bring it back from our trips. Many have different uses - I would not use my fine sea salts in the same way I would use my finishing salts (i.e. sprinkling on butterhead salads or steak or brownies). Many salts are not meant to be cooked with.

                  I own books on salt. They are fascinating reads.

                  1. re: chefathome

                    Have you ever done blind tastings of your salt collection?

                    1. re: scubadoo97

                      Yes. Most had distinct differences as a few are smoked (i.e. alder, chestnut), different textures and melting properties, etc. A few, of course, tasted similar to one another but most were quite different. It was very interesting, actually. I do not over-salt things and try to use them a bit sparingly. But I just ran out of my Trapani sea salt. Guess we'll just have to go back! :-)

                      1. re: chefathome

                        I own smoked salt, truffle salt, fennel pollen salt (great on popcorn) and those are more along the lines of spice blends. The "natural" sea salts, on the other hand, don't really have the breadth of flavor variety that flavored salts do.

                        1. re: ferret

                          I don't have fennel pollen salt - did you do your own blend? It must be superb on popcorn! Wow.