The harvesting of our Guérande collection of salts is rich in tradition. The marshes from which the salts are collected were originally conceived and carved out of a coastal area in the French town of Guérande by monks in 945 AD. The monks' careful planning has bestowed us with these superlative salts harvested in a sustainable way—as is proven by the centuries of production they have yielded. The salt workers, called paludiers, embrace this responsibility and strive to preserve the balance of man and nature which allows for both a high-quality product and the preservation of a precious ecosystem. The marsh area they work is now a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI), this European quality assurance has strict specifications of industry.
Harvesting is done during the summer, but only under very specific conditions where in ocean, sun, and wind combine to form the prized fleur de sel in large sheets on the surface of the salt pools (œillets). The crystals are carefully skimmed by hand, usually using a rake called a "lousse," the salt is then collected in piles to drain and dry. The grey salt (sel gris) is collected from the bottom of these salt pools. It is mineral-rich as is reflected by its briny flavor and grey hue.
The sea salts do not undergo any form of washing or chemical treatments. It is sieved to remove as many impurities as possible, this is a completely natural product—harvested with traditional methods. It is devoid of additives, it contains none of the anti-caking agents, iodine, fluorine, or nitrites found commercial salts.