Common Cooking Salts
By Leanne Ely, CNC
Let’s face it. If we’re in a kitchen cooking, chances are we’ll be using salt at some point, whether it’s searing, boiling, grilling, roasting, or baking. The chances that salt is involved probably averages at 99 percent. But did you know that there are actually differences in salt? It’s so common, I think we often assume that all salt is the same, but there is actually a great deal of variety.
The most common salts we tend to see in grocery stores are table salt, kosher salt, and sea salt. But what makes one different from the other? Ordinary table salt is the most commonly used salt. It’s typically the cheapest and the most processed. It’s scraped down till most minerals are removed from it and tends to have the least flavor in comparison to other salts. Sea salt is pretty straightforward: it’s harvested from the sea. To get it processed, it’s generally evaporated naturally by being placed in clay trays in the sun, and with this method, it’s a lot less processed than regular table salt.
Kosher salt is known for its easy dissolvability; it’s just regular table salt rolled out into a flake, easy to dissolve, though less dense, therefore less mass, than table salt and therefore it’s common to use a lot less.
Now that we’ve covered salt basics, it gets a lot more complicated.
There is a grey salt know for its moistness. Many consider it the best quality of salt around because most of the minerals stay intact. One of my favorite salts is a pink Himalayan salt. It really is a light pink tint and typically comes in a grinder for a good fresh flavor. Some of the minerals found in Himalayan salt are calcium, iron, copper, potassium, and magnesium. Beneficial minerals to your meal you probably didn’t even realize you were adding by simply using this particular salt.
So there’s just a little information on salt, it’s more than your standard old salt shaker. And if you’re feeling a little crazy sometimes you can find even smoked salt crystals or other natural flavor-infused salts. It’s a whole salty world you probably didn’t even realize existed!
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