The Isle of Noirmoutier is famous for its sea salt. Two-thirds of it is sea marsh. Situated in the Bay of Biscay in the Vendee region, the Isle is connected to the continent by the Gois Causeway. The sunny, almost tropical climate and constant gentle dry winds that assist evaporation make Noirmoutier ideal for producing it. The Isle is a national nature preserve and environmentally protected. The name Noirmoutier means 'black monastery' derived from the black robed monks who inhabited the island in mediaeval times. They're credited as first to hand harvest salt there using Celtic methods that remain largely unchanged today.
Atlantic waters flow into Noirmoutier's rectangular, hard sun-baked man-made clay pools. Two days of evaporation from sun and wind create large coarse crystals called 'sel gros'. The crystals are light gray from the clay. They are harvested by the 'saunier' or salt harvester using long rakes to gather the crystals. Using strong, swift strokes the saunier draws crystals to one side of the pool. Every two days the saunier collects small amounts and adds it to the pile that becomes several feet high as the harvest season progresses. The coarse salt is dried and stone ground to medium size to produce Eden Sea Salt. No further processing, washing, or additives are involved, and it is never blended. This traditional Celtic process seals in a wealth of trace elements and produces the most delicious sea salt in the world.
Noirmoutier islanders take pride in the purity and taste of their salt, just as citizens of Bordeaux take pride in their wine. Their craft has been handed down through generations and the island possesses unique qualities producing one of the most exquisite salts in the world. Eden Sea Salt is certified by ACTOA (L'Association de Controle Tiers Ouest Atlantique), "Selection du Saunier." This organization certifies that the region of Noirmoutier maintains a pure, unpolluted environment suitable for organic agriculture and also respects the Standards of Salt.
The market is awash with imitation sea salts that have little in common with the likes of Eden sea salts. Almost all food processors use these because they're so cheap in comparison and they can get away with it. The difference is the taste, nutrients, and physiological effects.
Eden Sea Salt is lower in sodium and higher in calcium than other salts. This gives a smooth, savory flavor. It is sea salt in its natural state with trace elements almost identical to the sea. Iodine is not stripped out and then 'fortified' back in. Eden Sea Salt is packed in glass to protect it from absorbing moisture.
An excellent value, Eden French Celtic Sea Salt has a clean, smooth, rich flavor. A supreme value, it's ideal for use as table salt and for all cooking and baking needs. In salt shakers, add several grains of rice to absorb moisture.