The Flower of the Sea
Fleur De Lis is a beautiful gemstone, but it is also a sensitive one. It has a high water content and maintains a certain salty taste in the mouth–and sometimes on the palate. It is a delicate, nearly slippery salt with a soft, round shape that is easily broken by biting. It should be taken slowly. This sensitivity to the salty taste should not prevent people from gifting fleur de sel as a gift, but it may be best left to those who know the secret to taking care of it.
Fleur De Lis is a semiprecious stone that is mined mostly in France, Spain and Italy. Because of its water-absorbing and water-holding characteristics, it tends to stay fresher longer than other salts. It may seem like a poor choice for packaging in its crystal form, but the high concentration in the salt makes it very dense and therefore very effective as an abrasive. You can buy fleur de sel in most online stores and specialty shops; you may also have a hard time finding fleur de sel in your favorite grocery store.
Fleur De Lis contains sodium chloride, as does almost all minerals, and therefore its use as a medicinal salt is not unique to fleur de sel. Its ability to draw moisture from the air and release that moisture into the skin makes it ideal for treating sunburns and wounds. Its ability to draw moisture from the air and release that moisture into the skin also helps relieve itching and burn wounds.
Like many sea salts, fleur de sel has a somewhat salty flavor. Though its flavor is relatively neutral, it does tend to take on a slightly bitter flavor when the heat of summer fades and fall approaches. This bitter taste can be reduced by stirring the salt in boiling water, or simply rinsing the salt with cold water. Also, adding a little bit of sugar or a quality sweetener to the water improves the flavor, so it is a good idea to use fleur de sel with a pinch of salt rather than using straight sea salt, which has a mostly salty flavor. If you are using fleur de sel as a dietary supplement, adding a bit of natural sweetness (such as maple syrup or honey) to the water also improves its flavor, as does keeping it in an airtight container.
Like most natural ingredients, fleur de sel loses its flavor as it ages. Unlike many sea salts, however, fleur de sel retains a fairly clear taste when fresh. Although the salt doesn’t improve the flavor of food or drinks made with it, the flower of salt (the dried up essence of the salt) has some unique properties that contribute to its flavor and nutritive value.
In addition to its traditional sea and river roots, fleur de lis also contains trace minerals that are beneficial to our health. One of the minerals found in fleur de lis is sodium, which contributes to low blood pressure, and is recommended for those with hypertension. Another mineral found in fleur de lis is potassium, which aids in fluidity control, bone health, muscle relaxation, heart function, and smooth tissue formation. And yet another mineral found in fleur de lis is magnesium, which contributes to the muscle tone and strength of the muscles, bone strength, and regulation of body fluid. Fleur de lis seems to have a host of health benefits, and it is easy to see why it is popular among dancers, but it is also well known among other consumers, including chefs, gardeners, and sports enthusiasts.