Sea salt and kosher salt are similar in many ways, yet they have very different origins. Both kosher and sea salt are mined from the same places, but the main differences lie in how they are harvested, processed and used. Sea salt is harvested by draining water from underground springs and pools and then drying out the salt. It’s usually high quality grade kosher salt that is harvested in this way, because it will stay in its crystallized state for a much longer time. The benefit of kosher salt is that it is easier to cut and holds onto moisture better than table salt, so it makes it easier to pick up a tiny pinch of dirt on your fingers and lick away to no harm.
Table salt is a very salty form of processed salt that is typically made by manuring the material with other materials to create less salty salt. It is often grouped together with kosher salt because it contains a very high concentration of potassium chloride, a compound that actually degrades the body’s natural salt levels over time. This means that salt-free foods are generally healthier and tastier than their salty counterparts. Because table salt is so salty, it has been associated with numerous health problems including heart disease and various kinds of cancer. The lack of salt in a dish minimizes the likelihood of those problems, and those who eat less salt are less likely to have any health issues associated with eating too much salt. It’s kind of like cutting out sugar from your diet and living a much healthier life.
Kosher salt is harvested from the Dead Sea, located in Israel. It contains a high concentration of minerals like potassium and magnesium, that make it ideal for using in recipes or as table salt. Since kosher salt tends to be more white than regular table salt (due to its high concentration of magnesium and potassium), some people do not find it to be as appealing as regular table salt. That is one of the reasons why it is often used in alternative forms instead of being purchased from the store.
For example, instead of using regular table salt in your recipe, why not use kosher salt? Using it will reduce the amount of sodium in your meal without replacing it with unhealthy substances. It has fewer sodium ions than regular salt and can help you lose weight if you choose to eat less sodium than you normally do. And because it tastes so much different than regular salt, your guests will likely notice the difference as well!
Salt works in so many ways in the kitchen that it is important to learn how to properly cook with sea salt and kosher salt in order to have the greatest flavor and texture. Regular table salt will separate when it comes in contact with the seafood, causing the fish and chips to take on a salty taste and texture. Sea salt has a higher concentration of magnesium and zinc, which makes it less likely to separate from the food. It also contains trace minerals like calcium, potassium and iron, all of which contribute to better health overall.
It is believed that sea salt has more trace amounts of trace minerals than table salt does. But just because it has more minerals doesn’t mean that you have to cook with it! If you want to add trace amounts of minerals to your dishes, simply mix it into the pan before you begin to heat it. The minerals will diffuse throughout your dish and provide a wonderful flavor and texture. In fact, sea salt tends to perform best when used in conjunction with baking soda.
Baking soda is often included in dishes that call for a salty taste, like chicken or fish. But you don’t need sea salt to bake with baking soda! Mixing them together creates a paste that can hold its own among the ingredients in any recipe. Instead of purchasing expensive sea salt flakes, buy potassium rock salt and use it instead.
With all the different varieties on the market today, there is one for every occasion. There is an assortment of textures for sea salt, such as coarse sea salt or fine sea salt. And there are many recipes that will work with a range of these textures. When shopping for table salt or other natural supplies, consider purchasing multi-salt products, which tend to be richer in minerals like magnesium and potassium and tend to retain their texture much longer than table salt.