Food Snark

Basic Types of Salt

July 29, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Salt is an essential item in cooking. In fact it is an essential item for the human body. Salt has played an integral part in human lives for thousands of years. According to Pliny the Elder, the Roman historian, the Roman soldiers were paid in salt and it from that act that the word Salary is derived from. Salt has (in surprising ways) come a long way since then. Now we find a variety of Salts like table, iodized, kosher etc. But we will take a look at the two basic types of Salt – Sea Salt and Table Salt.

Sea Salt does go through much processing and is created by the evaporation of sea water. It contains two percent of trace minerals and the rest is all Sodium Chloride. It is a little different in color and has a different taste to it as well. Sea Salt granules are a little bigger and it is used for purposes other than cooking; for example, Sea Salt is used in medicines and in producing cosmetics.

Table Salt can be created from sea water; however, it can also be harvested from salt deposits or more commonly from salt mines. The harvested salt is then run through a heavy processing program which sees additives like anti-caking agents, Iodine and others being added to it. While none of these are harmful, it remains the “wrong” salt for many who are used to the taste of Sea Salt. It is also said to be less healthy than Sea Salt because it contain 99.9 percent of Sodium Chloride. However, Table Salt does not have any impurities and the iodine that is present helps to prevent any thyroid problems.

The bottom line is that neither type of salt can be touted as the better one. It comes down to factors like what you want to use it for, whether you prefer the taste of one over the other and availability.

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