Know Your Salts

Salt enhances the flavor of foods. But, salt goes far beyond your everyday iodized table salt. It comes in different flavors, textures, and colors. Salts are derived from various sources and some salts have added content, giving each salt it’s own unique compound. They can be fine, flaky, or course, adding texture to your plate as well.

There is a wide range of different salts to choose from, but here are eight choices to start with:

1. Kosher Salt

Kosher salt refers to the salt that was handled in accordance with Jewish Law. Often it is a small, flake-style crystal. It’s usually more delicate than a typical fine grain. It’s subtle in flavor but still packs a mild crunch when used as a finishing salt. It’s also quick dissolving, which makes it great to cook with.

2. Table Salt

Table salt probably needs no introduction, as it’s a common household staple. However, there are some controversial opinions on the topic. Some believe there is no nutritional difference between table salt and sea salt. Others believe that sea salt’s high mineral content lends to higher nutritional value.  

Table salt is harvested underground from natural salt deposits. It goes through more processing than sea salt. This can eliminate minerals and sometimes means, including an additive to help prevent the salt from clumping. But, it usually has added iodine as well, which is good for the thyroid.

3. Sea Salt

Sea salt, as indicated by its name, is harvested from salt water (lakes and oceans).  There is less processing than table salt. The water source and trace minerals will have a lot to do with the type of salt that comes out of it. This can impact flavor, coloring, and of course mineral content.

Texture can be anywhere from fine grain to very coarse.

4. Smoked Sea Salt

Smoked sea salt is exactly as the name states, sea salt that has been smoked. This can come in different flavorings. It can be a great addition to any food that you want to add a smoky touch to.

Try it on red meat, pork, poultry, seafood, soups, salads, and vegetables. It’s also excellent for sea salt fudge.

5. Grey Salt

Grey Salt also called Sel Gris (French), is a coarse sea salt. It has a high moisture and mineral content. It provides a rich flavor and works wonderfully as a finishing salt. It can also be dissolved into food to increase flavor. This salt is excellent on hearty foods like steaks, chops, roasts, and vegetable dishes. 

When this salt is harvested, it can have some small amounts of clay in it. This gives it the grey coloring.

6. Alaea Red Hawaiian Sea Salt

Much like the Grey Salt, the Alaea Red Hawaiian salt is also harvested with small amounts of clay. However, this is reddish clay called Alae. This adds minerals and gives it the orange-brown coloring.  The salt is filled with minerals, the flavor and saltiness is milder. It’s a good choice for pork or prime rib.

7. Hiwa Kai Black Hawaiian Sea Salt

Hiwa Kai Black Hawaiian Sea Salt is beautifully black and silky, plus it has a great mineral content. It is Pacific sea salt mixed with volcanic charcoal that has been purified. The charcoal is said to add a detoxifying effect. 

Hiwa Kai Black Hawaiian salt makes a great addition to meats, salads, and seafood. It can also make a nice cocktail rimmer. 

8. Pink Himalayan Salt

This salt is a versatile gourmet option. In fact; it comes in a variety of forms: salt slabs, salt lamps, bath salts, and in a variety of coarseness.

Salt slabs are great for food presentation, baking or grilling. The salt itself has a high mineral content, including iron. You can see this in the different hues of pink, red and white.

Pink Himalayan Salt is tasty on almost anything. It’s especially recommended for chicken and fish. The salt is also naturally anti-microbial, which is one of the perks of salt slabs.

The salt is mined from the Himalayan Mountains. It’s claimed to be one of, if not, the purest salt.

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