A New Road For Kosher Salt
If you’ve never tried kosher sea salt before, you might be wondering what makes it so special. After all, sea salt comes in many forms. For example, do you know that sea salt has a special ingredient called sodium chloride? While table salt does, there are differences between kosher sea salt and regular table salt.
Let’s start with the first difference: color. Kosher salt has a grayish tint that makes it look almost black. This is the normal salt you will typically find at the grocery store spice aisle. kosher salt is the all-time favorite salt of many chefs and home cooks simply because of its uniform, coarse, pinch-resistant grains. The word kosher does not mean it’s kosher-certified, however, but rather refers to the way the crystals pull moisture from meat during the kosher curing process.
Sea salt, by contrast, tends to be pink in color, and comes in shades ranging from light pink to various shades of gold. It’s also very coarse and absorbs a lot of moisture. Pink salt contains trace minerals such as calcium, magnesium and sodium chloride as well as iron and manganese. Iron and manganese are essential for good health and strength. So not only is kosher salt more absorbent than sea salt, it’s healthier for you.
There are two different types of kosher sea salt harvested from natural sources. First, there are sea salts harvested from salt flats or sea water. The minerals found in these salts are much higher in content than those found in seawater and the kosher table salts produced from these salts are considered to be just as healthy as seawater salts. However, they’re not as good for you as table salts harvested from salt pools. Because the minerals aren’t suspended in the air like the water is, there are fewer natural minerals in evaporated sea salts.
Evaporated table salt is harvested using heat, and then treated with electricity to make it electrical. Then it’s evaporated at a high temperature under pressure, leaving the grains behind. The resulting kosher sea salt has a lot more magnesium and iron in it than seawater salts. As a result, they tend to be less expensive.
Most kosher sea salt comes from places in the Middle East, mainly Egypt, Jordan and Israel. There are also places in southern Europe and Asia where salts come from, including Moldavia, Romania, Turkey, Ukraine and some parts of China. Evaporated sea salts aren’t mined at all, so they’re not mined for their mineral content. kosher sea salt is made from all natural minerals, including potassium and calcium. These natural minerals are the result of ancient sea bed mineral concentrations, passed on from generation to generation.
To preserve the minerals in sea salts, they’re held under high pressure in salt mines, which is called solar evaporation. When salt is exposed to the sun, the sodium and chloride minerals begin to absorb sunlight, which changes them into sodium ions and chloride ions. When the salt is exposed to the air again, these compounds become sodium hydroxide (NaO2), and then become inert. But if the salt is kept in a container for long enough, the process will reverse, and the salt will return to its true mineral content.
Today, manufacturers use solar evaporation to remove contaminants and to add trace minerals to kosher salt. This process is the same as that used to make sea salt and table salt. Salt works the same way. So next time you buy kosher salt, don’t just think ” kosher ” and buy what is in ” kosher salt.” It is only one step down the long road toward having ” kosher ” on your table.