Salt is one of the 5 basic taste sensations we enjoy, and there are so many different types of salts available, that it's hard to know which to try. Table salt and Kosher salt are the most common for cooking and baking, but finishing salts are becoming more and more popular for their nuanced flavor profiles. These flavors depend, in part, on where the salt was harvested.
An interesting example of this is Guerande Course Sea Salt, which is harvested from the salt marshes in Guerande, France. These marshes date back to before the 9th century, and have now produce both sea salt and table salt.
The Guerande coarse sea salt has always been harvested by hand using traditional methods, and is known for its culinary virtues. Because it is in contact with clay when it crystallizes, it has a naturally gray hue, and takes on trace elements which add to its unique flavor. It is considerably less salty that Mediterranean Sea Salt, and is also softer on the palate. It's rich flavor makes it a good choice for use in cooking and to season meats for the bbq.
The coarse salt is harvested throughout the summer. Because of the climate at this time of year, and the effect it has on evaporation, the salt is concentrated when it crystallizes and deposited on the clay. The salt workers then use a wide wooden rake to push the salt to the edges of the salt pond. It is then pulled onto a platform to drain.
Guerande coarse sea salt is all natural, and has a high concentration of minerals like magnesium and calcium, along with other trace elements. It can be used for cooking, but is also delicious as a finishing salt. We recommend the Oleron Salt Mill from Peugeot with the wet salt mechanism to grind this unique salt. We have found that the consistency and higher humidity are too high for grinding it with a classic mill.