Meet the man who prepared special salt for the royal visit

When the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge came to visit British Columbia, everything got a little fancier — even the salt they ate.

'It was actually painful to give away that special batch,' Saltspring Island saltmaker says

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children Prince George and Princess Charlotte may have left B.C., but not before trying what saltmaker Phillippe Maril says was some very special salt.

Phillippe Maril is feeling a little salty about the recent visit of the royal couple — but in his case, that's a good thing.

Maril is the owner of Saltspring Sea Salt, a company that specializes in fleur royale, a unique type of salt that the royals tried when they were staying at Government House.

It's a type of fleur de sel — sea salt that floats at the top of the ocean and crystalizes.

"It's actually the purest salt you can get," Maril told All Points West guest host David Lennam.

"It's 100 per cent sodium chloride and minerals, so you don't get that bitter taste from sea salt ... table salt, other salts."

Maril says he wanted to get involved in the royal visit when an exceptional batch of harvested sea salt resulted in huge crystals.

Recalling a folk story his grandmother told him about a salt maker who came up with a batch good enough for the king of France, Maril thought it would be fitting to have the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have this batch for their time at Government House.

"It was actually painful to give away that special batch," he said. "In the story, it happens once every hundred years."

Maril says he hasn't heard from the royals about if they appreciated their special seasoning — or if they even noticed its uniqueness.

"We're hoping that maybe we'll get a special letter one day," he said with a laugh.

With files from CBC Radio One's All Points West


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