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The marais salant of Guérande

I have a thing for the fleur de sel. The “flower of salt” is famously hand-harvested in Guérande, just south of Brittany, although there are other (mechanically collected) productions in Noirmoutier, Île de Ré and Camargue too. Moist to touch and pale silver-grey in colour, this fine salt has such a delicate taste that once you start to use fleur de sel, it’s hard to imagine going back to your average table salt. I couldn’t describe it but know that it doesn’t taste like any other salt in the world.



Just outside of the historical town of Guérande lies the salt marshes, the marais salant, where the fleur de sel is harvested. A complex series of waterways, including the traicts protected by Le Croisic and Pen Bron, channels the water of the Atlantic Ocean into shallow marshes; the water fills up the basins – also known as vasière – during high tide and is then guided to into the marshes known as the œillets via designated narrow water networks.

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