Lionel Charteau - hand-harvested sea salt from Guerande

Salt has been harvested in the marshes of the Guérande, north-west France since the 3rd century.  Warm, sunny conditions and a dry east wind combine to evaporate sea water caught in the coastal marshes which is then harvested by hand by a paludier (literally one who works on the marshes). 

Lionel Charteau has been a paludier for fifteen years.  Originally he sold his produce through a local cooperative, but he told us that he decided it would be more interesting and motivating to work on improving the quality of his salt even if that meant producing less.  So for the past three years Lionel and his wife Franoise have been producing and selling their own salt. 

Lionel and his team harvest the salt by hand using long established, traditional methods and tools.  Their focus is on producing the best salt, selecting the crystals directly from the marsh as soon as it is harvested.  The salt is not chemically treated or subject to any other processes or additives but is simply sieved and sorted by hand to obtain an exceptional, natural product.  

Lionel supplies to Michelin three-starred chefs Michel Troisgros, Alain Passard, and Michel Bras, and to many other restaurateurs and retailers who want to work with the finest food products including Pinch Seasonings.

Click here to find out more about Lionel's fleur de sel and gros sel gris and to buy online.  We also use Lionel's salt in some of our blends such as our za'atar, ras el hanout, Berbere and Cajun spice blends and it will be the basis of our new range of finishing salts to be introduced during 2012.