You do not need lots of ingredients to prepare a delicate dish. Three varieties of quality olive oil, a bottle each of balsamic, white wine and red wine vinegar may create better results than a fridge full of ready bottled dressings.
Your culinary abilities will be even more appreciated if you understand how to apply the right salt. Again there are three options depending on your requirements:
- Flor de Sal: The flower of sea salt from the Eastern Algarve´s traditional salt works is what is called »Fleur de Sel« in France, in Portugal also known as the cream of the salt pan: flaky crystals form a thin and shiny layer that floats on the surface of the brine. Skimmed off by hand every day in good weather conditions and simply sun dried before packaging, this finest sea salt brings its delicate, slightly sweet flavour to carpaccio, salads and all prepared dishes.
- Sal Tradicional: This unprocessed sea salt comes from small traditional crystallizing salt pans. Sun drying keeps the natural moisture and the sea water's minerals. Before packaging, Sal Tradicional is carefully ground to be either coarse or fine according to the customer's needs. Its intact mineral composition, rich in Magnesium, Potassium, Iodine and Selenium, makes this white natural sea salt both healthy and tasty. Use it as a cooking salt for all culinary purposes.
- Sal do Mar: The salt crystals are of a more solid structure. Thus, Sal do Mar is often sold ground and is a little less soluble in water. Sun-dried and free of additives, Sal de Mar is recommended by professional chefs for cooking pasta and potatoes, for salt crusts and to salt meat and ham.
The Ria Formosa is a sheltered coastal region with almost no industrial pollution. Its intact nature, the purity of the Atlantic waters and careful hand-harvesting are the key factors to obtaining a sea salt with a natural white colour without washing.