Ode to Heirloom Tomato Salad and Fleur De Sel

Celebrity television chefs always throw around fancy terminology. I have always heard of fleur de sel and I recently had the opportunity to purchase this expensive spice. I followed all the advice I had heard over the years – the best olive oils and salts are to be used sparingly as condiments only.

The literal translation of fleur de sel is “flower of salt.” I decided to take my voyage into the world of exotic sea salts using the best heirloom tomatoes, basil and a drizzle of flavorful olive oil, imported directly from Italy. I sparingly sprinkled the fleur de sel carefully atop the tomatoes, rubbing the granules gently between my thumb and index finger. This salt contains more moisture than regular sea salt and the crystals sparkle like diamonds.

As I began eating my simple, yet refined salad, I could not help but “Mmm” in deep concentration, as I tasted the plethora of flavors swirling on my tongue. The flavors were so subtle, yet complex. The caviar of salts has spoiled me and never again can I imagine eating a tomato without this magical spice.


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