Located on the Gulf of Patras in western Greece, Messolonghi means “between the lakes,” a reference to the lagoons that characterize the town. Not only are the Messolonghi-Aitoliko Lagoons part of the European Union’s Natura 2000 network, but they are also protected by the Ramsar Convention, an international agreement for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands. These wetlands are uniquely valuable both environmentally and economically, sustaining biodiversity (including hundreds of valuable bird species) as well as a local economy of fishing cooperatives and saltworks.
The Floros family became involved with the saltworks several years ago, after their office furniture business ended with the Greek economic crisis. Looking for a way to keep the family together in their hometown, they decided to take advantage of one of the most abundant and iconic resources their town has to offer - salt. As a family, the Floros’ have dedicated themselves to supplying some of the best, least processed fleur de sel and sea salt that Greece has to offer.
In early summer, seawater is directed into the flat, shallow basins of the Messolonghi salinas (saltworks), which cover about 3,000 acres of the Messolonghi-Aitoliko Lagoons.
Under the hot summer sun, water evaporates from the salinas, leaving a fine layer on the surface. This fleur de sel (called afrinaby locals) is carefully gathered by hand and rinsed in seawater to ensure that no elements are lost.
Rather than using a machine to pack the fleur de sel (which would require drying it out first), our producers fill each package by hand, allowing the fleur de sel to retain its natural moisture and its many trace minerals, including iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, manganese, zinc, and iodine.
The packed crystals, unprocessed and free of chemicals and preservatives, are delicate and flavorful, excellent as a finishing salt to sprinkle over meals before serving. Our fleur de sel works especially well in bringing out the flavor of salads and vegetable dishes.