Salt from Guerande
Where is Guerande?
Guerande is a little medieval town in South Britanny, on the Atlantic Coast. History of the region of Loire Atlantique and Britanny tells us that production of salt started with Landevennec Abbey monks around 945 after they studied the tides and eventually designed plans of the salt works.
What kind of salts are harvested?
In the salt marshes of Guerande is where the famous Fleur de Sel and Grey salt are harvested each year between June and September following summer high tides, and critical elements: meteorology (sun and winds to create evaporation), salt water and clay on which the salt is formed. At high tide valves are opened to let the water pass through a series of ponds to finally reach the "oeillet", the last pond where the water evaporates and crystallisation begins.
The present salt marshes covers approximately 1700 hectares.
What is the difference between Grey salt and Fleur de Sel?
The Grey salt rests on the clay surface of the pond and is retrieved using a "las" a kind of wooden rake, the salt worker creates a wave to unable crystals to detach and brings them to the "ladure", a conical formation of crystal is created to allow water to drain. The Guerande coarse salt is grey in colour.
In contrast Fleur de Sel is harvested when a thin layer of fine crystallised salt is formed aided by the wind on the surface of the "oeillet" or pond. Fleur de Sel is white in colour, fine in texture with a delicate violet perfume.
- Grey coarse salt from Guerande is used in cooking, (fish and meat cooked en "croute").
- Fleur de Sel from Guerande enhances the subtle flavours of food at the same time preserving the foods original taste.
- Both salts are unrefined, unwashed, preservative and additive free. Rich in minerals and essential trace elements.
Why is this salt unique?
In 2012 Sel de Guerande and Fleur de Sel de Guerande recieved the IGP (Indication Geographique Protegee) European quality and quarantee for the provenance of the product and its quality. It is the first IGP in Europe.