Different Types of Sea Salt – Know Your Options
Sea salt is sea water evaporated from the sea. It’s used for cooking, seasoning, cosmetics, and even for preserving food. It’s also known as dead sea salt, alkaline salt or solar sea salt. It’s most commonly known as pink sea salt, black sea salt or kosher sea salt. Like other mined minerals, production of sea salt dates back to prehistoric times.
There are many varieties of sea salt available in the market. Some of these include Caribbean black truffle salt, Mexican black sea salt and Basaltic rock salt. Each has its own characteristics which make it ideal for various uses. Let’s take a look at some of these.
Mexican Black Sea Salt is actually a sedimentary rock form on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. It’s rich in calcium, iron, sodium, zinc and manganese. This salt doesn’t have a very high magnesium content and contains only trace amounts of sulfur and potassium. As a result, it’s very soft, is often used for seasoning and deodorizing products, but its use is restricted due to the excessive amount of sodium it contains. Nevertheless, it’s still a popular choice because it goes well with most foods.
Caribbean Black Sea Salt comes from waters that are salty and rich in magnesium, sodium, iron and calcium. Unlike Mexican black sea salt, this salt doesn’t contain any sulfur or potassium. Instead, it contains calcium, sodium, iron and phosphorus. Black Caribbean sea salt is harvested in pots and is known for its ability to prevent damage to electronics. It can’t, however, stop hair from turning gray.
French River Black Truffle Salt is harvested in the mountains along the Livernois and Appolonia rivers. It is known for having a very high concentration of calcium, iron, sodium and manganese. The high concentrations of these minerals make it ideal for baking, roasting and sauteing. The texture is similar to that of truffle salt.
Hungarian Pecorino “anesco” is derived from the pecorino variety of cheese. It’s a pale yellow, brown or grayish white powdery substance that has a salty taste. It’s commonly used in baking and cooking and is considered a flavoring agent. Pecorino tends to be high in magnesium and calcium. It also contains trace amounts of lactic acid, which gives it a unique flavor.
Italian Sea Salt is the most common salt used by Italian cooks. It has a smooth, grainy texture and a fine, white ash content. Sea salt adds an intense flavor to soups and stews. Italian sea salt can also be used in candied, spread or crystallized forms to add flavor and texture to deserts, cookies, cakes and pies.
Kosher sea salt is harvested from the Dead Sea, located on the shores of Israel, Jordan and West Bank. It’s a fine, grayish-white salt that’s used to help revitalize foods and for re-hydration. It has trace amounts of iodine and manganese. This type of salt may be processed into an array of different varieties, depending on the levels of each mineral present. For example, light kosher sea salt will have less magnesium and more potassium.
Red Sea salt is harvested from the Sea of Galilee in the Southern Carmel Islands. It’s known for its flavor and has high sodium levels. It’s mostly used in fine sea foods, such as sushi. It has a pungent, earthy aroma.
Rock salt is naturally occurring and is found primarily in the western part of the world. It is used to help remove moisture from meats before cooking, which is why it’s often added to smoked salmon and salted fish dishes. A type of this sea salt is also known as sea salt and was the source of the salt used by ancient Egyptians. It’s rich, coarse grain and is widely available. It doesn’t go well with acidic foods, so it’s typically used in conjunction with lemon juice or another natural citrus flavor.
Himalayan sea salt is obtained in mountainous regions in northern India, Tibet and Nepal. It has a very high concentration of minerals and trace elements that contribute to its distinctive flavor. It’s mostly used in Asian cuisine. It’s used more in stir fries, stir-fries, chicken stir-fries and Indian curries.
In countries like Australia, Thailand and the sea salt is used most often. It’s a staple food in these areas, usually being eaten with rice and coconut milk or cooked with meat. Its crunchy texture makes it a delightful accompaniment to foods cooked with coconut oil, and its naturally rich flavor makes it a delicious addition to cocktails. Many chefs use this salty specialty to add flavor to ice-cream, sorbet, custards, jellies and cakes.