Tag Archives: Salt

Herbes Salees du Bas du Fleuve: Product Review

Having a good variety of condiments and spices at your disposal is one of the greatest ingredients to tasty and easy cooking. While I usually prefer to rely on individual spices rather then blends, as it gives me more leeway, one of the exceptions I make is Les Herbes Salees du Bas du Fleuve. I use it in a variety of recipes, such as my delicious creamy pan-fried salmon. One of the most defining features of Les Herbes Salees, is that, as their name strongly implies (if you speak French) the blend tastes extremely salty.

Les Herbes Salees du Bas du Fleuve

Les Herbes Salees du Bas du Fleuve

Making Herbes Salées is apparently pretty easy; a quick Google search will reveal plenty of recipes, but frankly these are so delicious and inexpensive that I see no point in buying and chopping and dealing with all those different herbs and salt. I buy it, it tastes great, is easy to use just about everywhere and it saves me a bunch of trouble.

Les Herbes Salees du Bas du Fleuve (Ingredients)

Les Herbes Salees du Bas du Fleuve (Ingredients)

Les Herbes Salées can be used just about everywhere, but the packaging recommends using it in soups, gravies, with fish and meat dishes such as pies, roast beef, ground meats, stews and meatloaf, as well as with pasta, rice, omelets and mashed potatoes. In fact, anywhere you’d add salt, consider using these. It’s much tastier and just as salty. Maybe more so.

Les Herbes Salees du Bas du Fleuve (Nutritional Info)

Les Herbes Salees du Bas du Fleuve (Nutritional Info)

As you can see in the picture above, each 15 gram portion contains 880 mg of sodium, which is not that much when you consider how salty this stuff actually is. Here are the ingredients that4 go in this particular brand of Herbes Salées:

  • Celery
  • Onions
  • Salt
  • Carrots
  • Parsnip
  • Parsley
  • Chervil
  • Savory
  • Leek
  • Chives
  • Spinach

Les Herbes Salees du Bas du Fleuve were born from a need to save herbs over the winter months; there are as many recipes for them as they are people making them. A quick internet search will show that much. If you’re interested in making your own, you can follow this recipe, which is wonderful in its absence of details. Also, you’ll need to read French. If enough people show interest, I’ll post a translated version here.

Fleur de Sel de Guérande Natural Flower Sea Salt: Product Review

One of the reasons that I love shopping at Costco, besides my 2% Executive Membership cash back, is that exposes me to all sorts of products I would not necessarily have bought before, and not only that, does so at a price that I can afford to try new things. Take the Fleur de Sel de Guérande, for example. This is truly a gourmet, high-end product that sells for many times the price in grocery stores and specialized stores, but  that I can buy for a very affordable price at Costco.

Fleur de Sel de Guérande Natural Flower Sea Salt

Fleur de Sel de Guérande Natural Flower Sea Salt

This 125 gram (4.4 oz) container of Fleur de Sel de Guérande, straight from France, was priced at $5.69 at Costco. That’s in Canadian dollars, too. You can get similar items on Amazon for about twice the price, if you were so inclined. In grocery stores, the price rises steeply. These people have overhead to carry.

The real question, however, is this one: why on God’s green earth should you get this salt? You can buy iodized seal salt for a quarter of the price, at Costco or elsewhere. Salt is salt, right? No need to be difficult, right? It makes food salty.

That’s where you’d be wrong. If salt is salt, then help yourself to a 20-kilogram bag of rock salt for the driveway for three bucks, and put that in your food. Salt’s salt, right? Ha ha. Not quite.

Fleur de Sel, or Natural Flower Sea Salt, is collected by hand in Bretagne, France, following methods going back a thousand years. It is not cleaned, bleached, or crushed in any way and retains an indescribable texture and flavor.

Just to be clear, this is not the kind of salt that you add to a recipe when they ask for a ‘pinch of salt’. It’s not something you put in the water when you’re cooking pasta, unless you’ve got no sense and money to burn. Regular plain table salt is just fine for those purposes. Fleur de Sel is destined to greater things. Leave it on the table for your guests to sprinkle directly on their food, where they can appreciate fully the texture and taste.

Getting a salt of this quality, at this price, is a really cool thing. It is nothing like the Greek Kalas sea salt you can get at Costco and elsewhere. Fleur de Sel de Guérande is something you should have in your pantry or spice rack to give your guests a real taste of something special.

Kalas Classic Sea Salt at Costco: Product Review

Even though my wife and I shop at Costco quite a bit, and therefore buy in large quantity, we are sometimes faced with purchasing the most mundane of kitchen essentials, such as salt. I don’t remember the last time I bought salt, but it was a while ago. I had purchased the 3-pack of Windsor Table Salt, at Costco of course, but years of cooking and boiling pasta in salty water had depleted our stock.

Kalas Classic Sea Salt

Kalas Classic Sea Salt

The question I was faced with was whether to replace our Windsor Table Salt with more of the same, which is really cheap – only $2.39 for three one-kilogram boxes, or switch to the Kalas Classic Sea Salt. As you can see by the picture, and by the title of this review, I chose the Kalas.

Now, the Kalas salt is quite a bit more expensive than the Windsor; it costs $3.69 for 3 containers of 750 grams each; not only is the total price more than the Windsor, but each container is quite a bit smaller. Why the expense, then?

Well, let’s get real. It’s only about a buck fifty more for what hopefully will turn out to be a year’s worth of salt. So, you know, not the end of the world.

I also enjoy the packaging of the Kalas Classic Sea Salt more than the Windsor Table Salt. The containers are round and made of plastic, which beats hands-down Windsor’s square cardboard boxes. They are more durable, and will not leak at the seams, because, you know, it’s plastic and the seams are fused shut.

When it comes to the salt itself, I would surmise that both have the same… saltiness, for lack of a better term, but I find the Kalas tastes better, more natural if you will, while the Windsor salt has what feels as a slight chemical, bland and overly refined taste. But that could just be me.

Both salts are iodized, which is not a big deal in developed countries, where we take iodine for granted, but very important elsewhere, where iodine deficiency can lead to severe and lasting health problems.

Overall, I could certainly have been happy with buying Windsor Table Salt again, however I felt like I was due for a change, and the convenience of the packaging, coupled with the better taste of the Kalas Classic Sea Salt, convinced me that it was time for a change, even if it cost me a dollar fifty more over the course of the next year.

Kalas Classic Sea Salt (3-pack) at Costco

Kalas Classic Sea Salt (3-pack) at Costco

Of course, you could say that saving even a dollar is worth it, when you add it up with all the other dollars you save here and there – just look at my coffee example – but at some point, you just need to buy the salt you want 🙂 When it comes down to it, you’re only paying 16.4 pennies per 100 grams of salt, so you can afford it. You’re not going through kilos of this every day.

In closing, I would like to point out that the Kalas Classic Sea Salt is a product of Greece, which may help explain why it is quite affordable. It is imported in Canada by Pilaros, who import a lot of other products from Greece sold at Costco, notably the Solon Olive Oil.