Sea salt is produced by flooding sea water into a salt “pan”, or field that looks similar to a rice field full of water. The water is then reduced by evaporation in the hot sun increasing its salinity. It is then moved to another pan, more water added, and further evaporation takes place.
This process is repeated around seven or eight times.
The final pan is a very carefully prepared one that has had the earth compacted and smoothed. By the time the water reaches this stage it is highly saline and nothing can live in it. It is pure.
The final period of evaporation is then allowed to take place until salt crystals form under the little remaining water which at them gathered into piles with wooden rakes and taken to be stored in warehouses to dry.
If, during the final stage of evaporation, the weather is really hot, super dry and with strong winds – which it often is in Kampot during the dry season – very fine crystals can form in the ripples whipped up on the surface of the water. Carefully skimmed off the top, these crystals are known as the “salt blooms” or the “Feur de Sel”, and have the finest, most delicate taste.
Bo Tree’s Kampot Fleur de Sel was awarded a Great Taste award in 2020 by the Guild of Fine Food in London.