Get to Know Louis Sel: What is Fleur de Sel and Sel Marin?

Our salt marshes during harvest season in Brittany, France.

Our salt marshes during harvest season in Brittany, France.

As harvest season is underway, we’re reflecting on what exactly it is about the Fleur de Sel and Sel Marin that we import from Brittany, that is so interesting; so authentic; so original. Harvest season runs from June to September, and this year we want to share more background of the product with you - where it comes from, how it’s harvested, its best uses etc.. This way, you too can see what’s so special about this hand harvested salt from the marshes of France.

Our Fleur de Sel is produced by evaporating sea salt water and leaving behind the crystalized salt after the drying process. The Fleur de Sel is different from the Sel Marin as it is gently skimmed off the surface of the crystallizers and are harder due to their longer exposure to the sun. For this reason, the Fleur de Sel can only be harvested at Dusk, which is just before it will sink back to the bottom of the marshes.

Because of its delicate and crunchy texture, Fleur de Sel is kept on its own without any herbs as it is better for a finishing touch on a multitude of dishes.

On the bottom of the marshes, the Sel Marin is collected at the bottom of the crystallizers where it has dried with the minerals of the marshes. Due to this, it takes on a more mineral flavor and dark color due its surrounding environment.

As such, Sel Marin can be paired with herbs for flavorful salts perfect for seasoning any dish. Sel Marin, like it’s name “Seal Salt” has almost a terroir, or earthen, flavor. The Atlantic Ocean is almost infused into the taste with its saltiness and minerality which offers a nice balance to dishes. 

Now that you understand what Fleur de Sel and Sel Marin is, be sure to stay tuned for more posts during this harvest season!

A Little History of Our Salt

On the coast of Brittany, France’s most northwest region, you can find an abundance of marais salants, or salt marshes. These marshes, especially those of the world famous Guérande basin, provide a natural, vital sustenance for human nutrition.

The sea salt produced here is among the finest in all the world. The harvesters of this sea salt, called paludiers. On these protected lands, paludiers have passed down their traditions and practices to new generations for nearly 1,500 years.

From June to September, our own paludiers, Gilles and Matthieu, run an independent family business of salt harvesting. Upholding the traditional hydraulic systems, they channel Atlantic seawater into the salt marshes, creating a multitude of little pools known as vasiere .

When the water level recedes, they force the seawater to evaporate by making it flow through the triple circuit - cobier, fard, adernes. As the sea water evaporates, its salinity rises.

Using wooden rakes, paludiers skim the top of the collected sea water, scooping salt minerals for further processing. They then transport the highly-salinized sea water into the crystallizers where the salt begins to form.

The small pyramids of salt you may see in some of our pictures is the method of properly storing and maintaining the salt once it is taken from the ocean water.

As Gilles and Matthieu report, “Our salts are produced and harvested by the rigorous standards of the Protected Geographical Indication IGP label (also known as Protected Geographical Indication), which is an Official Sign of Quality and of European Origin.”

Pure and natural, salt from the Guérande marshes is all harvested manually, retaining many essential trace elements.

The two main types of salt we have on the market are Sel Marin (coarse grey sea salt) and Fleur de Sel (“flower of salt”), which are unique and different in their own right. Sel Marin is naturally mixed with mineral-rich clay, after which it is combined with quality organic herbs. Fleur de Sel is the purest, taken right from the top of the ocean water.

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Brunching with Louis Sel

Throughout the holiday season, we tend to focus on the big, festive dinners. We are distracted with planning meals that have a turkey, a brisket, a ham, and a beef tenderloin. These big meals are so distracting that we almost forget that we might actually need to eat something else throughout the day. And if you are hosting company, you definitely don’t want to forget about those other meal times. You definitely don’t want any hangry family members around!

Instead of stressing over two additional meals when guests are in town for the holidays, consider having an easy brunch. The best part about brunch is that it can consist of a wide range of options, so everyone should be able to find something that they enjoy eating.

We’ve put together a quick list of some of our favorite brunch items. Choose one or all to include in your brunch menu this holiday season. Of course, our Fleur de Sel and Sel Marin will complement pretty much any brunch item!

If you’ve been stuffing yourself at what seems like every meal, opt for something a little lighter at brunch. Consider sprinkling a halved grapefruit with Fleur de Sel. Salt can actually cut the bitterness of grapefruit, leaving a sweeter taste in your mouth.

Purchase a variety of bagels and put out all the fixings: smoked salmon, cream cheese, hard-boiled eggs, chopped red onion, capers, sliced tomato, avocado, and sliced cucumber. If you are feeling really ambitious, fry an egg to put on top. Everything tastes better with a fried egg and a dash of Fleur de Sel!

If you want more of a boozy brunch, offer your guests a Bloody Mary. Make sure you have celery, lime wedges, and green olives for garnish. Salt the glass rims with our Fleur de Sel for an additional touch.

Stick with a classic and make eggs to order: scrambled, fried, poached, soft boiled, etc. All eggs are complimented nicely with our Sel Marin.

If you’re looking for something with a little less cooking involved, avocado toast is an easy option. Just make sure you buy plenty of avocados ahead of time so that they are ripe. Avocado toast is another brunch item that tastes awfully good with a fried egg and Fleur de Sel on top!

Roast a bunch of vegetables with our Sel Marin the night before your brunch and heat them up in a skillet the next morning. Instead of having eggs on top of toast, serve the eggs over the warmed roasted vegetables. Consider roasting sweet potatoes, squash, onions, or regular potatoes.

There is always the one sweet tooth, so we can’t forget about a fan favorite: cinnamon rolls. Make your own or buy them in a store, but either way, don’t forget to warm them up and have extra frosting. Don’t forget some Fleur de Sel on top to break the sweetness of all that sugar.  

Bon appétit!

How to Francophile Your Thanksgiving

Are you as shocked as we are that it’s already time to plan our Thanksgiving dinner? It feels like summer just ended, yet the holiday season is here.

This year, we’re saying bonjour to a few French traditions to mix up our Thanksgiving menu. Our salts are French after all…

Here are a few ways you can Francophile your Thanksgiving this year:

Offer your guests an apéritif. Our favorite traditional French cocktail is the Kir Royale. Mix champagne with crème de cassis. If you don’t have champagne, use prosecco or any sparkling white wine.

Upgrade your bread and butter by adding radishes. Yes, we said radishes. Sounds a little strange, but in France it’s tradition, and it is simply delicious (especially when topped with our Fleur de Sel)!

Warm up with a cup of veloute. Veloute is a smooth vegetable soup. We recommend serving this as an appetizer before your main dishes, made out of pumpkin or squash. An immersion blender can help smooth out any soup creating that rich texture.

Have elegant haricot verts as a side dish. We know some families are dedicated to the traditional green bean casserole, but consider this simpler option. You don’t need to do much with these to have a flavorful side dish - perfect with either of our finishing salts!

Season your turkey with provencal herbs. Our Sel Marin makes a perfect poultry seasoning with its mixture of sel gris crystals and organic provencal herbs. You won’t need to add much more to have one tasty turkey!

Revamp your mashed potatoes and make pomme purée. Say goodbye to dry and lumpy mashed potatoes. Pomme purée is a smoother, creamier version of this crowd favorite sprinkled with fleur de sel.

Share a bottle of French wine. Wine is a must, so make it a French one this year. We recommend a bottle of Gigondas. It pairs nicely with your turkey or cornish hens.

Save time with Cornish hens. If you are interested in really mixing it up this year, consider ditching the turkey altogether. Cornish hens are much smaller, so it takes less time to cook and each guest can have their own personal hen. There will be no need to fight over the drumsticks!

Looking for a dessert that’s easier than pie? Make a clafoutis instead of the traditional Thanksgiving dessert. A clafoutis is a French batter cake. You won’t have to worry about your crusts falling apart if you opt for this dessert. Make it with apples or pears for a fall flair.

We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, surrounded by friends, family, and French food!

Bon appétit!

No Tricks, Just Treats for These Salted Sweets

Halloween is upon us and, naturally, that has us craving something a little bit on the sweeter side. It’s hard to avoid these cravings when there are pumpkin-shaped chocolates and candies taunting us from what seems like every checkout line. But, these crisper evenings offer the perfect opportunity to whip up a simple and satisfying treat. Fortunately for us, sweeter foods are a perfect match for our Fleur de Sel.

The immaculately-white, crystal sea salt highlights the sweetness of fudgy brownies, caramelized apples, and vanilla ice cream. Your taste buds will have a better appreciation for those sweet flavors when it gets a quick reminder of the saltiness from some of those white crystals.

Here are three simple and salted treats to enjoy this Halloween. And lucky for you, these recipes can be enjoyed far beyond October 31st!

Brownie with Fleur de Sel and Caramel

Top a brownie with a scoop (or two) of vanilla ice cream. Drizzle with caramel sauce and finish with a pinch of Fleur de Sel.

Chocolate with Fleur de Sel

If you have any chocolate lying around the house, or even some of your children’s Halloween chocolates, upgrade them with a dash of our sea salt. Yes, a treat can be that simple!

Apples with Vanilla Ice Cream and Fleur de Sel

If you want a break from those chocolatey desserts, top some caramelized apples with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a pinch of Fleur de Sel.

Happy Halloween!

Louis Sel's "Say Hello to Fall" Salad

The fall bounty is here and we couldn’t be happier about it, but we probably say that about the arrival of every new season! Finding different fresh vegetables at the farmer’s market reignites our desire to get back in the kitchen and start cooking again.

And let’s be honest, sometimes you need that little push to get back in there after a hot summer and an unseasonably warm early fall. It’s nice to be able to roast some vegetables again without having regrets about turning on the oven!

Fall Salad with Sel Marin

With the crisper weather this past weekend, we whipped up one of our favorite fall salads. The combination of colors, flavors, and textures makes for a beautiful and tasty result. As always, our Sel Marin was the perfect finishing salt. With its unique blend of aromatic herbs, it enhanced the sweetness of the dried fruits and the tanginess of the crumbled goat cheese. A combination so good that we might just have to make it again next weekend!

For the salad – mix together the following ingredients:

-Baby kale

-Roasted butternut squash (when roasting, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with our Sel Marin)

-Dried cranberries

-Golden raisins


-Crumbled goat cheese

For the dressing – combine the following ingredients:

-Olive oil

-Apple cider vinegar

-Dijon mustard


-Sel Marin

Bon appétit, friends!

Easy Cooking and Even Easier Entertaining with Salt Cellars

Whether carved out of honey-hued, Mediterranean olive wood or wrought in ornate sterling silver, cellars are more than just a sensible choice for storing spices and seasoning. Sure, these open or lidded dishes are the ideal vessels for dispensing the larger and irregularly shaped grains of sea salt, but cellars have a long, rich history that extends all the way back to the Roman Empire. They give quick, convenient access to the most universal ingredient in our kitchens and are stylishly designed and meant for display on counters or tabletops. People have been doing this for thousands of years. You can carry this tradition forward into your home, making food prep that much easier, and there’s no better way to keep your delectable Louis Sel within reach.

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Have you ever noticed on cooking shows how professional chefs never reach for a salt shaker when seasoning food? That’s not because they don’t use salt. Quite the contrary, salt is such a vital ingredient to chefs that they instead use salt cellars or similar containers called salt pigs to get to the good stuff more easily. Oink!

These handy tools are lovely enough to be left out even when you’re not in the kitchen. Salt cellars range in size and material, from durable marble to sleek glass and steel vessels. Salt pigs are typically larger than cellars, made of stoneware, and have a large, snout-like opening. Some craftsmen give a clever wink to cooks in their design, with containers that are actually shaped like whole pigs or have triangular ears cheekily perched atop the dish.

Whatever the mode, cellars bring more than just form to the kitchen. Chefs prefer them for their function and keep a filled cellar at the ready since nearly all dishes, sweet or savory, call for salt. Typically, chefs measure from cellars in “pinches.” This is the rough amount that can be held between the thumb and forefinger, which is equivalent to about an eighth of a teaspoon.

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Pigs and cellars are sometimes sold with little serving spoons that measure out portions similar to a pinch. If not, these spoons are also sold separately for home cooks who prefer scooping the same amount every time. Spoons are particularly useful for preventing contamination to the entire store of salt in the cellar when you’re working with certain raw foods like meat or eggs.


Beyond cooking, open-form cellars are an ideal way to serve finer sea salts when entertaining. Setting out an attractive salt cellar heaped with a beautiful Fleur-de-Sel makes all the difference between sliced vegetables and crudité. Whip out a block of cheese, some softened butter, a stack of crisp crackers, and you’ve got a lovely spread with salt there to enhance the other elements. The cellar brings an easy elegance to your cocktail table that a salt shaker just cannot carry, and the grains typically can’t pass through the screened shaker lids.

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Salt pigs and salt cellars can be sourced locally in any specialty kitchenware store and even some major discount retail chains have begun to carry them. A host of options can of course be found online too. Eagle-eyed shoppers can spot them in antique or vintage stores as recorded history of salt cellars dates to the early days of Western civilization when Rome was first strategically located near a salt bed in the marshes at the mouth of the Tiber River. Be a part of history, get a cellar for your salt, and do as the Romans do!





Cooking Spring Veggies with Louis Sel Salt

It’s March. Spring is here (although the weather may not feel like it!)  In such a refreshing season, why not add a little green in your table? If you are looking for some seasonal vegetables for your new recipe, here are some tips for you. With the  start of spring , comes the welcome return of a host of beautiful, green seasonal vegetables to liven up your table. We’re sharing some favorite recipes with you that showcase these earthy and bright spring flavors.



Asparagus is harvested from March through June, depending on your region. Note that thickness in no way indicates tenderness, which is related to how the plant is grown and how soon it is harvested rather than texture.


We suggest: Roasted Asparagus with Fleur de Sel and Parmesan

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Place wash and trimmed asparagus in a large bowl. Add fresh shaved or grated Parmesan cheese, extra virgin olive oil, Louis Sel Fleur de Sel, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Toss to coat evenly.
  3. Transfer asparagus to a baking dish in a single layer. Bake until asparagus is tender and beginning to brown, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.



Vitamin-rich beets are at their best when in season in temperate climates fall through spring. Fresh beets are often sold with their dark, leafy greens still attached.


We suggest: Beet Salad with Louis Sel Salt

1.     Place beets and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and then cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until tender. Drain and cool, then cut in to cubes.

2.     Toss beets with olive oil and sel marin with herbs.

3.     In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, dijon mustard, and Louis Sel Fleur de Sel.

4.     Drizzle over arugula, add crumbled goat cheese and halved cherry tomatoes.



There are two basic kinds of peas: garden peas, which require shelling, and snow or sugar peas, which yield edible pods. No matter which you prefer, eat them with gusto, as these little gems are an excellent source of iron, protein, vitamin C and soluble fiber.


We suggest: Roasted Sugar Snap Peas with Fleur de Sel

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Wash sugar snap peas, pat dry and trim the ends.
  3. Roast for 20 minutes or until brown and crispy, flipping halfway. Sprinkle with a generous amount of Louis Sel Fleur de Sel and serve warm.

Fleur de Sel

Salt is found in kitchens all over the world, but do we truly appreciate the role it plays in our lives?

Most of us take this precious ingredient for granted because we don’t understand its value.


If I told you that every crystal tells its own story, that every mouthful is an opportunity for people to travel and discover the world, would you believe me?

Well, you should.

While they share the same water, the taste of salt collected from either side of the same ocean is totally different. The secret to each salts’ distinct flavor profile lies within the unique minerals, climates, and harvesting processes from which they came from. Can you imagine? All it takes is a change in the wind or ocean tide to alter the flavor of your salt, and elevate meals in a different manner.


Each salt you taste has its own story.

Louis Sel wants to share with you the story about the ancient tradition of Fleur de Sel. The beautiful name translates into “flower of salt” in French, which originates from the flower-like patterns made by crystals in the salt crust.


In France, sea salt harvesters are called paludiers. Guérande, a small town on the west coast of France, is known to be where paludiers have lived and collected sea salt since the 9th  century.

With its beaming sunlight and gentle breezes, Guérande’s summers are perfect for harvesting sea salt. The delicacy of Fleur de Sel requires it to be gathered by hand in small quantities. Every summer, paludiers go out to the natural marshes and collect the pure, immaculate sea salt with their own hands. In fact, it is said that even the taste of Fleur de Sel varies according to the hands of different paludiers. The Fleur de Sel is then delicately skimmed off the crystallizers at dusk during the summer harvest. The whiteness and pure quality is due to the fact that it does not float to the bottom and mix with the clay and minerals.


For the paludiers in Guérande, harvesting Fleur de Sel is more than just a job. It’s an art, a treasure, and a culture passed from generation to generation.

The Fleur de Sel imported by Louis Sel is harvested by Gilles Morel and his nephew Matthieu Le Chantoux, paludiers whose dedication and passion shine through each salt crystal they collect. Vent d'Ouest and Vent d'Est are two different kinds of crystals from their lands - literally from the west wind and east wind.

Vent d'Ouest: Slightly larger crystals form from the west-blowing ocean wind creating crunchier and bigger crystals.

Vent d'Est: Delicate and smaller crystals form from the drier eastern wind creating refined crystals that are more subtle on the palate.

Highly favored by gourmets and chefs, Fleur de Sel is a perfect finishing salt for any dish. Just add a sprinkle of it to your steak, fish, or salads; it will take the taste of your food to a higher level.


Get a taste of Louis Sel’s Fleur de Sel, and transport yourself to where it all started on the salty marshes of the Atlantic in Guerande.

Are your taste buds ready to take a gourmet journey with Louis Sel?