13 May 2007
Fleur de Sel: From the Ile de Re to the Camargue
High on my list of things to bring home from Paris is fleur de sel.
Yes, I can find it locally, or I can pay a fortune for it online.
But buying it in Paris will no doubt be more economical and the jar or box will be a long-lasting reminder of our trip.
(Can you hear me knocking on wood and praying here. Last time, absolutely nothing went wrong. No lost luggage, no missed trains. A panhandler or two, but no incidents. Please, please let that be the case with this trip.)
I like the fact that much of the salt I find locally comes from the Ile de Re, which is near LaRochelle, birthplace of some of my French ancestors.
I also like when it originates in the Camargue, a place I have never visited, but plan to do so someday (armed with a good deal of organic mosquito repellent).
Fleur de sel, as everyone reading this already knows, is best added at the final moment in the food preparation process. When combined with herbes de Provence, it is an excellent means of both flavoring and wringing excess liquid from aubergines.
It is best used sparingly, too. That way each grain is a gift, an enhancement of flavor.
Do you use sea salt? Where do you find it?