As saltwater evaporates in special pools and starts to supersaturate out, the first blooms of salt are the first raked up, putting them on the top of the pile, which makes this salt the first to dry and gives it a lovely fluffy texture and clean white color. In France it's called "flower of salt" for the blooms it makes on the water's surface; in Portugal it's known as "salt cream" because it rises like cream to the top of the water.
The Algarve region of Portugal receives less rainfall than Brittany, France, and consequently produces a brilliantly white crystal that is light, crumbly and delicious. The salt harvesters, or Marenotos, skim these delicate crystals formed at the top of the pan by hand, using the same wooden implements that have been used for millennia.
This is a wet sea salt and not intended to be put in a regular salt grinder. It is usually used as is, as the grain size is miniscule. Chefs like the texture as well as the flavor of this sized crystal.
The salt farmers in Portugal adhere to quality standards for certified organic produce and have been awarded the "Slow Food Award for the Defense of Biodiversity."