The Guérande salt harvesting season takes place from June to September as soon as the weather conditions are favorable: sun, heat, wind, and absence of rain. Salt is harvested from carnations, these harvesting ponds are the purpose of a circuit where water evaporates little by little and is concentrated in salt.
The Guerande salt is formed by crystallization every day in summer, when the optimum conditions are come together, at the bottom of the ponds (called « œillet ») for coarser salt and at the water’s surface for flower of salt.
Our salt is harvested with the same tools that have been used for centuries and we do not use any additives. It therefore has nothing comparable with refined industrial salts that are harder and more aggressive. Guérande TRADYSEL salt is natural and rich in minerals (magnesium, calcium, potassium, trace elements), its taste is fine, without bitterness or pungency.
Due to its harvesting on a clay background, its crystals are grey, friable, wet and perfectly assimilable. The flower of salt must be picked every day on the surface of the water, this technique gives it a unique and subtle texture.
Harvesting can only take place once the system has reached saturation (several months heating) and with the right climate conditions – heat, wind, absence of rain. The climate to the north of the Loire River leads to a short harvesting period lasting on average from June to the beginning of September.
The saturated sea water in the “oeillets” evaporates during the summer under the effect of the sun and wind. When the salt crystallises, we say that the marsh “is working”. This phenomenon begins at the end of the morning, and we start to see small, fine, light crystals floating at the water’s surface, before clumping together in a fine skin under the effect of the wind. This is flower of salt (“fleur de sel”),also called “white salt” or “thin salt”. The surface crystallisation is more abundant when the water is hot, and when the temperature difference with the colder air is greater.
Guérande salt harvesting is carried out every day in summer, when the optimum conditions are come together – flower of salt “gathering” must be done as late as possible during the day, for larger quantities and a sufficiently formed “grain”.
Coarse salt can be collected at any time of the day, outside of the times when the flower of salt is forming, ie. either early in the morning before it starts to form or late in the evening after harvest.