WELCOME TO ÎLE DE RÉ, ON THE FRENCH ATLANTIC COAST…
In the 19th century, more than 3700 acres of salt marshes were in activity representing 20% of surface of Île de Ré for a production of 30,000 tons. Today about a hundred salt workers harvest the sea salt in a surface of 1130 acres. All marshes are located in the north of the Island, between Fier d’Ars and Fosse de Loix. It’s a small production, but the salts are reputed to be the best ones!
Used for so long as a natural preservative but also for medical treatments, the salt was called the “white gold” on which a tax was applied. It’s today the main ingredient to season our dishes. The most refined one is called “Fleur de Sel”. It’s the finest salt on the surface of the marsh, given my “Mother Nature” when the wind and the sun are in harmony. You enjoy its whiteness, crispness and taste. It has to use for a final dressing, fabulous on sautéed vegetables, salads, fish and seafood and grilled meats.
This video features Brice Collonier, a graphic designer and architect who fell in love with salt. Despite it’s in French, you will see how the salt is harvested.