Salt has been referenced and utilized in nearly all time periods and cultures from before recorded history. It’s been used as money and for trade in many early cultures. Salts are trendy these days, but you must know that what kinds are healthiest for you and work best in your recipes. current research shows that too much sodium can lead to a host of health problems, American Heart Association recommends getting less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium a day, that’s roughly equal to two-thirds of a teaspoon of table salt. Reducing the amount of salt in your food (without the use of salty tasting substitutes) is the preferable way that you can improve your health. Different types of salts, commonly used in our food are as follows:-
Table Salt. Table salt is the most common kind of salt found in the average kitchen. It usually comes from salt mines. Once mined, it is refined and most minerals are removed until it is pure sodium chloride. A common sentiment is that this process results in a more bland and bitter salt than unprocessed varieties, not to mention lacks the potential benefits of its trace minerals. Most commonly table salt is also available in either plain or iodized forms, where the salt is artificially spray coated with iodine.
Sea Salt. This is salt that is made using evaporated seawater. It generally has larger and coarser crystals than table salt. It is harvested in a number of places in the world. Big granules mean more flavor for less sodium, but skip this briny salt in routine cooking or baking since it doesn’t dissolve easily, which can cause issues with the taste and texture of dishes. It can be used as finishing salt taking advantage of dramatic color and crystal formation and diverse cultural associations. Many traditional salts make good all-around cooking salts, while others are excellent for finishing. There are two types of sea salts on the market: fine-grind and flaked. Go with the latter. It is slightly more expensive, but provides more bang for your buck in terms of flavor and versatility.
Kosher salt. This salt got its name because it is commonly used when preparing kosher meat. Because it has larger, irregular-shaped, and coarser crystals than regular salt, it does a better job of drawing out the blood of the animal, which is required of kosher meat before cooking. This salt is preferred by many cooks because of its milder flavor and lack of additives.
- Fleur de sel. It comes from coastal salt ponds in France, fleur de sel literally translates to “the flower of salt.”.
The caviar of sea salt, fleur de sel is hand harvested. Conditions have to be just right (lots of sun and wind) for it to “bloom” like a flower on the surface of the water. It has crystalline texture, which means that fleur de sel melts slowly in the mouth. Its pleasing flavor lingers on the tongue.
- Rock Salt or Himalayan Pink Salt. Himalayan pink salt is harvested in the foothills of the Himalayan mountain range and is basically fossilized sea salt.
Rock salt comes from oceans that drying up tens or hundreds of millions of years ago, leaving us their salt, which has been compressed and transformed. It gets its characteristic pink color from the amount of minerals in contains, particularly iron. It is generally more expensive than regular salt, but is also considered healthier and more pure. Hard, dry crystals with moderate to high mineral content and virtually no moisture, usually ground up mechanically for use as a finishing salt. Can have an intense and direct impact in the mouth.
- Black salt: It is also known as Kala Namak, black salt is actually a pinkish-grey color. It is mined in India and Pakistan and has a strong sulphuric smell. The condiment is composed largely of sodium chloride with several impurities lending the salt its colour and smell. The smell is mainly due to its sulfur content. Traditionally, the salt was processed with heat, charcoal and plant material, which yielded a dark crystal rich in sulfide compounds. The traditionally made salt is also high in iron and many other minerals. It is commonly used to spice food in Southeast Asia.