Our beautiful Mizzi's salt farm is located in South Doodlakine about 200km east of Perth…
Many of you might ask what is the fleur de sel and why its the king of salt. Well the actual translation from french is salt flowers. The french really value this salt for its light but rich lingering taste that does not burn your tongue. Its used in high end restaurants that value good salt. Unfortunately this unique salt is not cheap and the reason for it is because it involves a lot of hard work. Each salt pan will not make a lot of fleur de sel on a daily basis and the little that is made is picked by hand without disturbing the heavier salt underneath. A good artisan will pick the fresh fleur de sel crystals without disturbing the heavier salt, clay and gypsum underneath at the bottom of the salt pan, otherwise it will loose its whiteness. Its hard to clean fleur de sel due to its delicate texture.
The floating desert salt flakes usually start forming early in the morning when the semi desert air at our salt farm in Doodlakine is still cold and the harsh hot sun starts blazing like a wild dragon. This creates a thermal shock at the surface of the salt pans and many minerals especially magnesium and potassium start accumulating around the floating salt flake. Some of these flakes start sinking as soon they get heavy enough that the brine surface tension cannot hold them no more. When the sun is really strong then the fleur de sel crystals become beautiful pyramid crystals. If these newly matured salt crystals are not picked then they will accumulate a lot of salt and they become heavier and much saltier than the fleur de sel. Still very tasty but will not have that mild delicate taste. Wind and no strong sun will make salt but no fleur de sel.
A paludier is a person that picks the salt. Some paludiers pick the fleur de sel while still not mature enough because its much easier to skim it from the top. Some of my ancestors on the island of Gozo (part of Malta) were paludiers and as a little boy, they used to teach me the craft of how to pick, dry and store fleur de sel without effecting the bottom layers of the salt pans. After many years I started to practice this craft first in the wild sea pools of Gozo and now at our Paleo River Salt Farm in Doodlakine which is part of the Kellerberrin shire.
Anyway basically this very delicate white and light salt both in terms of taste and weight needs to be appreciated for the amount of passion and hard work that goes in making it. But like good wine, good salt is made though love and passion that starts from taking care of the salt pans all to the way of how its picked, cleaned, stored and packed.
Fleur de sel is meant to be used as a finishing salt and not wasted in a pot in normal cooking. It can be ground using a grinder or using your fingers due to its delicate texture or the whole crystals can be used on the food to add vibrance to your food.