Salt from Guérande: An authentic and natural salt

Twice a day, during the high tides, water from the open sea flows into the marshes… The salt worker opens a valve to give it access to the primary pond (“vasière”)… Then, the sun, the wind, and the salt worker’s expertise evaporate the water until the salt finally crystallises in the crystallisation ponds (“oeillets”).

Here follows the astonishing metamorphosis of a simple drop of water into a tiny grain of salt…

Flower of Salt

In the last few years, flower of salt has gained a certain reputation amongst food lovers. Very white, with fine, snow-like crystals and a very slight hint of violets, it enhances meals by bringing out the taste of even the finest dishes. Only a pinch should be used on raw or cooked food.

Flower of salt is harvested in the Guérande salt marshes, late in the afternoon during very dry weather. Under the combined effect of the sun and a dry east wind, a fine skin of crystals forms on the surface of the “œillets”

This skin, which is a pure white as it has never touched clay, is carefully gathered by the salt workers using a special rake known as the “lousse à fleur”. The very special weather conditions and the small quantity produced make it a rare and much sought-after product.

Flower of salt has been recognised by great chefs as a great, flavour-enhancing treasure for many years, and is now available to everyone thanks to the work of Le Guérandais.

Coarse Sea Salt

Guérande coarse sea salt has always been hand-harvested using traditional methods and is well known for its culinary virtues. It is naturally grey as it crystallises on contact with the clay from which it takes its high trace element content. Less salty than Mediterranean salt, Guérande salt is softer on the palate and richer in flavour which makes it the salt that cooks prefer for salting stocks and the water used for cooking vegetables, and also for barbecues and meat and fish cooked in a salt crust. Unwashed, unrefined and additive-free, it adds flavour to traditional family cooking.

Coarse salt is harvested every day in summer when mild weather combines wind and sun on the Guérande peninsula. In the late afternoon, under the effect of evaporation, the salt is concentrated to a level of to 280 g/l, when it then crystallises and is deposited on the clay in the “œillets”. The salt worker uses a wide wooden rake known as a “las” to push the salt to the edges of the pond. He then pulls it on to the “ladure”, a round platform made of clay, where it is left for the night to drain. Next day, the salt worker uses a wooden wheelbarrow to carry the 60 kg of salt per “œillet” to the large stockpile of salt known as the “mulon”.

With its traditional, environmentally friendly harvesting method, Le Guérandais Guérande Salt has become the market leader for original salts.

Ground salt and flavoured salts

Fine salt (or ground salt) is made from coarse salt, which is dried, then crushed. It is not processed, whitened or refined and retains the pleasure of an authentic salt. Rich in magnesium and trace elements, it is ideal for every type of use in the kitchen and on the table.

With Le Guérandais in all its forms (coarse salt, flower of salt, fine salt), gourmets have a whole range of flavours to choose from.