Salt from Guerande

A few photos take on a recent visit to Guerande to learn all about salt production. Terre de Sel is the local co-operative that represents a large number of producers.  This enables the ‘Paludiers’ to pool their resources and take a more regular salary than the independent producer might enjoy. Gros Sel is the coarsest salt which is gathered from the bottom of the shallow clay lined pools of  salt water while the Fleur de Sel is the highest quality and is carefully skimmed from the surface.  This is considered a premium product and is used to sprinkle on food at the table. A minuscule amount of Fleur de Sel is produced in comparison to Gros Sel so this explains its high price.


Terre de Sel in Guerande


The Gros sel is gathered into piles where it remains for a short while before being take away using wooden wheelbarrows


Each Paludier has his or her own patch with varying numbers of salt water pools – some areas are more highly prized for their terroir just like wine


This is what is used to collect the Gros sel – the coarsest salt closest to the clay


Watching the paludier at work


The harvest takes place over a short period of time with more in sunny years and less after a poor summer


Harvesting the Gros sel


It can’t be rushed and is a slow gentle process