Kosher Salt and Table Salt – Making the Switch From Traditional to New Methods
Salt is used for so many things in the world. From the time we first learned how to cook meat over fire, salt was used to season and salt was used to help preserve food. It has always been the key element in preparing food to give it that salty, crunchy taste.
Today salt can be found almost anywhere. We have salt in our cereal bowl, on our breads, and even in our breath. We take salt on our showers, sprinkle salt on fruits and vegetables, and even sprinkle it on our ice cubes. Because of its importance to modern life, scientists have been trying to come up with salts that have the same qualities as salt used years ago. Some salts have been successful; other salts have not been so well received.
To understand why kosher salt has become so highly regarded, you must understand what kosher salt actually is. Because theoretically, there is no difference between natural sea salts and salt mined from rocks. Because kosher salt is actually sodium chloride derived from salt mines and then refined to take out impurities. Since it is made up of bigger flakes, it is not as dense as sea salt. This makes kosher salt ideal for use in the oven. Some manufacturers even allow kosher salt to be used as a topping for pizza and other salty dishes.
There are two methods of using kosher salt. The first method is called grilling or smoking and the second is called baking. When using kosher salt for cooking, you must make sure that it has been rinsed off completely and that it is dry. All moisture should be removed before adding to the cooking area. When using it as a seasoning for fish, always remember that it must never be added directly to the water, but be added first and then wait for the flakes to sink to the bottom before placing the fish on top of the moist, but still slightly wet, flakes.
Another issue regarding kosher salt, and one that some people tend to forget, is that not all kosher salt mined around the world is actually kosher. There are three different salts mined from locations in the world that are considered part of the kosher salt collection. These are red river salt, sea salt and alkaline sea salt. These three salts differ largely in their manufacturing process, production method and even in the amount of additives used in their production.
Red River salt originates from the Dead Sea located near Israel. It is the saltiest of the three salts mined. The salt extracted from the Red River is actually seventy percent sodium chloride. Many consumers prefer this type of salt because it has a high amount of magnesium and iodine, which are essential for good health.
Sea salt originates from the Dead Sea located in Israel and has significantly less amount of sodium than sea salt. Its salt concentration is about forty percent sodium chloride, compared to seventy percent of sea salt. It has more magnesium and iodine, making it healthier for most people. The problem with sea salt is that it is less likely to dissolve the salt molecules into a compound that the body can absorb. Therefore, it loses its benefits for using as a preservative or an anti-caking agent.
With these three types of salt available, manufacturers can create table salt that meets both standards and preferences of the consumer. They can also help the environment by recycling the salt that they are able to save and making the environment less polluted. While kosher salt is the most commonly used salt for cooking, many people choose to use table salt for their dishes instead. The next time you go shopping for table salt, make sure you ask the store clerk that type is preferred by the consumer.