Fleur de sel is an expensive sea salt with some unique qualities that help to justify the price. Kosher salt is much more affordable and brings a different set of assets to the table. Knowing how these two salts differ and the ways that each of them can improve food may help you to decide which of them is best for a particular application. To decide which one to use, check out the fleur de sel vs kosher salt SPICEography Showdown below.
How does fleur de sel differ from kosher salt?
Fleur de sel is the moister of the two salts. The fact that it contains magnesium chloride and calcium chloride means that the minerals in the salt dissolve faster and ensures that fleur de sel can be detected on the taste buds more quickly than kosher salt’s crystals. Kosher salt is dryer than fleur de sel. The large crystal size of kosher salt slows the rate at which it dissolves, which means that it will stick around in crystal form for longer. It actually gets its name from koshering, which is the process of drawing the blood out of meat. Its large crystals make it good at doing this. This property also means that it will add a satisfying crunch to your dishes when used as a finishing salt.
Kosher salt is typically from the same mined salt used to make table salt. It can have a flat shape like a plate or be shaped like a pyramid because of special processing techniques. Its source differs from that of fleur de sel, which is a sea salt harvested in a specific part of France. In order to harvest fleur de sel, the salt crystals are skimmed from the surface of evaporation ponds.
Can you use fleur de sel in place of kosher salt and vice versa?
Both are salty and can provide a clean salt flavor. Neither is iodized, so there is no risk that your dishes will have the slightly bitter notes that some people detect in food seasoned with iodized salt. Unlike iodized salt, both can be used in pickles without any negative effects on fermentation. Fleur de sel can replace kosher salt as a finishing salt in many dishes. It can provide an attractive look while also providing a burst of saltiness in each bite, though it will not be as crunchy or last as long without dissolving as kosher salt. It does have a stronger briny aroma when compared to kosher salt, which is relatively odorless. This may be beneficial in some dishes, but not in others.
Kosher salt can serve as a fleur de sel substitute in some dishes and will work just as well in those where the briny aroma of fleur de sel is not quite as important. You should also note that the crystals may not dissolve quite as quickly as those of fleur de sel, which means that you may not get the initial burst of flavor for which fleur de sel is famous.
When should you use fleur de sel and when should you use kosher salt?
Fleur de sel offers a much less obvious crunch when compared to kosher salt due to its moister, more delicate crystals. In addition, there is the fact that it tends to dissolve more readily on the tongue. Use it in dishes that can benefit from the oceanic aroma and the clean, intense saltiness.
Because kosher salt takes longer to dissolve, you can use it in dishes where you want the visual flair that large salt crystals can bring to a dish. In addition, you should use it in dishes that will be improved by the added crunch.