The sea salt from Guérande
Coarse grey salt, fine table salt or plain, fleur de sel, flavoured salts...Refined and delicate, you can use your salt whichever way takes your fancy! But one thing never changes the product is always guaranteed of a high quality, gathered by hand. Tantalize your taste buds! Try the caramels made with salted butter or the salicornia to name but two of the specialities.
The full range of ‘salt products’
Coarse grey salt ‘Le gros sel’Easily identified by its grey crystals (a colour given to ‘le gros sel’ by the particles of clay from the bottom of the evaporation basins or ‘œillets’), this traditional sea salt is very rich in magnesium, a source of calcium and iron and contains many trace elements. Classified since 2007 as a salt for culinary purposes the coarse grey salt from Guérande brings added flavour to both traditional and family cuisine. It can be used to make salt crusts for baking in the oven, stock, to add to grilled fish and meats or to quite simply give added flavour to the water used for cooking pasta, vegetables...
Fine or plain ground sea saltUnlike industrially produced salt, the fine sea salt from Guérande is a natural and unrefined product. Coarse grey salt is merely dried and ground to preserve the authentic and original nature of this product! It is perfectly adapted to both culinary and table use.
The Fine white crystals of ‘La fleur de sel’The demand for this product is such today that other producers both French and from other countries have attempted, without success, to imitate it by usurping its name. It is made all the more precious by its rarity and the precise conditions necessary for its harvest: gathered from the very surface of the water in the ‘œillet’ its formation boosted by an easterly wind. Particularly prized amongst gourmets for its unique flavour ‘la fleur de sel de Guérande’ is ideal to be used lightly sprinkled after cooking on your food to enhance the flavours of both meat and grilled fish, with foie gras or a little pinch added ‘croque-au-sel’ as we say in France on raw vegetables and salads.
Today the fine salt, pride of Guérande’s salt marshes, is also available in three distinctive but delicate flavours :
- ‘with herbs’. This salt brings out all the aromas and flavours of the aromatic herbs and therefore goes so well with all types of grilled meats, fish and vegetables.
- ‘with seaweed’. A subtle blend of three types of seaweed which lend their flavours to fish, seafood, soups, sauces or fish stock.
- ‘with vegetables’ the distinctive flavour of celery which goes oh so perfectly with tomato based recipes makes of this flavoured salt a perfect ingredient to add to your pasta, rice, soups and sauces.
Savoury or sweet ?Caramels made with salted butter from Guérande, tender and chewy, these are one the favourites from the Guérande peninsula …to be consumed in moderation by both the young and ‘not so young’! Our most famous chocolatiers also invented the chocolate with a hint of ‘fleur de sel’ – known as ‘le mulon’. Savour this ganache with its heart of delicately salty caramel or allow yourself to be tempted by a macaroon…all unique treats just waiting to be enjoyed!
Salicornia also known locally as ‘la corne salée’ is a little plant which grows in the salt marshes. It can be adapted for use in many recipes in similar ways to French beans ie. Steamed or even sautéd If you prefer, it can be eaten as a condiment pickled like gerkins.
A site of culinary importance and interest gets national quality label!In 1996 this region with so much variety in its natural heritage was awarded the much deserved recognition of a national quality label. Its quality product, its ecosystem management and the work of professionals were all rewarded.
Distinguished by a committee whose members came from the ministries of agriculture, culture, ecology and tourism, the criteria to be fulfilled by a qualifying site, ‘le Site Remarquable du Goût’, are as follows:
- The existence of an emblematic food product from the local area. This product must be well known and be of historical interest.
- Delicate, tasty and aromatic the salt from Guérande is of an extremely high quality. It is 100% natural, that is to say it is not rinsed, not refined and a totally additive free. ‘La Fleur de Sel’ or ‘le Gros sel’ will always lend a delicious flavour to all your dishes.
- Te existence of an exceptional heritage on both an environmental and architectural front. Listed since 1996, the salt marshes of the peninsula, at the foot of the medival town of Guérande, provide a rich opportunity to observe unique examples of flora and fauna.
- The provision of information for the general public enabling them to become aware of the links between a food product, the local cultural heritage, the site and the people who live and work there.
- A network of professionals from the hotel/catering trade and organisations working for the protection of the environment are on hand to help you discover and enjoy the many aspects of the Peninsula of Guérande – ‘Le Pays Blanc’ – the ‘white country’ as it is known around here. There are even outings available in the salt marshes in the company of ‘les paludiers’ or staff from the LPO (= group concerned with the protection of birds).
- The organisation of the people involved around the four aspects of the concept (agriculture, culture, environment and tourism). 118 sites currently hold this quality label including those who produce; the wine of Saint Emilion, the oysters from Arcachon, the black truffle from Quercy, the sausages from Morteau…