There’s more to salt than just kosher.
If you’re a foodie or an avid cook, chances are you have a salt, or maybe two, that you love. Maybe you even get fanatical about your favorite. French fleur de sel, English Maldon sea salt, Himalayan pink salt, grey Celtic sea salt from Brittany, Hawaiian black lava salt… options abound, hailing from all corners of the world. Talk to a chef and you’ll probably get a passionate monologue about their preferred salt and its superiority over others.
Samin Nosrat, author of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, writes, “Salt has a greater impact on flavor than any other ingredient. Learn to use it well, and food will taste good.” Salt is a staple, yes—but there are so many varieties to choose from, serving different purposes and offering different tastes, textures, shapes, and histories.
At Mimo Mallorca we are obsessed with the local flor de sal that’s harvested in the southeastern part of the island. This “salt flower” or “sea blossom” salt is harvested by hand using natural processes. Salt ponds, or shallow manmade pools, are filled with seawater, which then dries in the sun. As the water evaporates, delicate salt crystals form on the surface. The pools themselves are a lovely rosy shade due to microbes that thrive in salty environments.
Imagine workers dressed in white uniforms and straw hats raking the surfaces of pretty pink pools. That’s the scene at Flor de Sal d’Es Trenc, a local company producing high quality sea salt. They use wooden rakes to skim the surface of the pools and harvest the delicate salt crystals that form on top, a process that’s repeated several times a day. The salt is then dried in the sun on wooden racks.
The result of all this work is a crispy, flaky salt, one that retains many minerals and as many as 80 seawater elements. It has a higher concentration of magnesium, potassium, calcium, and micronutrients than regular table salt. The magnesium concentration (almost 20 times more than average) enhances the flavor of the salt, and can also make it seem a bit wet.
Scarcity – and time-consuming work — makes Mallorcan flor de sal more expensive than your regular supermarket salt, but it’s to be used more sparingly; this is not the salt for brining meat or liberally seasoning pasta water. It’s a delicate and crumbly salt that’s great at adding both salinity and texture to a dish, plus it has more depth to its flavor than regular table salt. Small crystals means that it dissolves faster than regular salt, making it a great finishing salt to be sprinkled on dishes before serving. Steak, salad, or a plump summer tomato all benefit from a scattering of crystals, and chocolate chip cookies are elevated to the next level with a sprinkle of flor de sal for a touch of crunch and a salty kick to balance the sweet.
Want to try it? Head over to our online shop. You’ll find the local Flor de Sal d’Es Trenc, including flavored varieties infused with herbs, spices, black olives, and even rose petals. Check them out at our online shop or stop into our gourmet store at the St Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort.