On a recent trip to Paris, I wanted to buy some fleur de sel as a gift, but I found nothing that was specifically noted as such. Instead, I found sel de Guérande, which largely seems like the same thing? Watching this video, I understand that:

La fleur de sel c'est le sel qui va cristalliser à la surface de l'eau. Le gros sel ce sera le seul qui va cristalliser au fond de l'eau sur l'argile. Donc c'est ça qui fait la différence entre les deux.

The fleur de sel is the salt that will crystallize on the surface of the water. The coarse salt is the only one that will crystallize at the bottom of the water on the clay. So that's what makes the difference between the two.

I wonder if sel de Guérande is perhaps the name given to the salt colored by the clay? Or is there a difference? The only other question I saw was this one, whose answer notes "Salt is salt is salt". I realize I'm splitting hairs, but I'm curious nonetheless.

1 Answer 1


Fleur de sel is a flaky salt (same as Maldon salt).

It can be from Guérande or from other sea salt fields.

Guérande salt can be any type of sea salt from that region.

It can be fine, coarse or Fleur de sel.

Anecdotal, I buy coarse grey Guérande salt (still wet) and use it as my main salt, I use it coarse or I grind some for regular use, I also use local flaky salt (from Québec).

  • Thanks! Mine is definitely the coarse, gray, wet salt. I figured it could be used just like any other salt, modulo the differences between fine, fleur, kosher, etc., but I wasn't sure if this coarse salt is essentially fleur de sel.
    – user655321
    Commented Oct 16, 2022 at 18:00

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