Today I used Fleur de Sel de Marin County for the first time on some food.
Yeah, a hothouse tomato, and it was a bit watery and faint of flavor.
The interesting discovery, though, was that the salt was a bit watery. Flavor was just fine, though: Sodium Chloride.
Apparently when I boiled down the sea water, stopping just short of absolute dehydration (everybody likes a slightly moist salt, right?), I left in enough moisture that the salt sort of sludged into a paste over time. The first day it was flaky and beautiful; now, after several weeks in a tightly capped jar, it's wet.
I'm not sure how to restore it to a sprinkleable state. I've left the open jar out on the counter, hoping some of the wetness will evaporate, but I'm a little afraid I'm going to end up with a solid salt lick. I'm still learning.
As for today's meal, I simply ended up spreading the salt on the tomato halves with a knife. Lightly, at first. Then I realized I really liked what I was eating, so I spread a little more on. (I'm guessing I used 1/8 teaspoon total, maybe a touch more.)
About five minutes after I ate the tomato I thought I detected some chemical flavors in my mouth. Could the sea water off the shore of Marin County have been so contaminated that I was tasting boiled-down esters and enols and ethanes and batteries and tires?
But I'm your diligent reporter. I took another taste of the salt, straight from the jar, just to find out.
Ow. It was really sharp, salty, you might even say acrid. For all of about a millisecond. (And I daresay that if you put a dab of any salt right on your tongue, you'd experience the same thing.)
Then, immediately, my mouth felt fresh! Clean. Salty, yeah, but not scary.
I'm sitting here writing, and it's been about ten minutes since I tasted the salt straight from the jar. Verdict: Clean.
So, I'm going to call this a success.
Until I find I have to go chisel salt chunks out of a jar tomorrow.