Flor de sal, or "Flower of Salt," is salt gathered by hand rakes when it floats to the surface of shallow salt-pan pools. If that description sounds like a savory version of Willy Wonka's Oompa Loompas making candy from the Chocolate River, your mind is in the right place. It's a magical process, one that makes a magical kind of salt. Flor de Sal is sought for its texture and flavor. On the tongue it feels like tiny snowflakes, and the flavor is soft and delicate. Some people claim they can even detect a fleeting aroma of violets.
As with great olive oil, you want to use flor de sal when it can show that remarkable texture and lightness. That's usually at the end of cooking. Use it to finish dishes like spring asparagus, summer tomatoes or fall potatoes. Or keep a small bowl tableside for sprinkling during dinner. Its flavor will beat the contents of a standard salt shaker any day. From the same folks who make our Portuguese Sea Salt.