Salt is a universal ingredient used both in cooking and baking in all cultural cuisines. It is used to enhance taste, suppress bitterness, and preserve foods. Have you ever wondered why some recipes call for table salt while others recommend sea salt? All salts are not created equally, and there are many types to choose from. Himalayan salt, kosher salt, sea salt and table salt are just a few types commonly used. They differ in texture and taste as well as mineral and sodium content.
This is the most commonly used type of salt for cooking. It is highly refined so most of its impurities and minerals are removed. It is heavily ground so clumps may form easily. However, anti-caking substances are added to prevent these clumps and for easy pouring. Iodine is also often added as a preventative measure against iodine deficiency. If you choose not to consume iodine-enriched table salt, make sure you are eating other foods high in iodine such as yogurt, eggs, seaweed and fish.
Uses: All cooking. It may be used in baking, roasting, stir-fry and more types of cooking. Table salt is a great, versatile ingredient. It may also be sprinkled on top of omelets, steaks, and other cooked foods for an extra kick of flavor.
Sea salt is made from evaporating seawater. Depending on where it is harvested, it may contain some trace minerals such as zinc, iron and potassium. Darker sea salts contain a higher concentration of impurities and trace minerals. Sea salt is less ground than table salt, so it may have a different mouthfeel when sprinkled on top of food. If you’ve noticed, sea salt is often larger in size compared to table salt.
Uses: Adds a pungent burst of flavor to freshly-cooked foods. It is a great complement to salads or baked fish.
Himalayan Pink Sea Salt
This salt is harvested in Pakistan. The trace amounts of iron oxide (rust) are the cause of the pink color. Himalayan pink salt contains trace amounts of potassium, calcium, iron and magnesium. There is also a slightly lower amount of sodium than regular table salt.
Uses: Since the main difference is color, it can give your cooked dish a unique look if you sprinkle some pink sea salt on top. You can make desserts more visually appealing by sprinkling it on top of a chocolate truffle or savory meringue.
The term “kosher” is used to describe the types of food a Jewish person may eat and the ways it is prepared. The main difference between kosher and regular salt is the structure. Kosher salt has a larger flake size so it is easier to pick up and sprinkle over your foods. Kosher salt may also have a different flavor and texture but when dissolved in food, there is no major difference compared to regular table salt.
Uses: All cooking. The flavors disperse quickly so it may be tossed on everything from pork roast to popcorn. Kosher salt is also great for baking, because it disperses quickly.