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lindag

Pink Himalayan Sea Salt

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I was watching a TV show (the name of which I won't embarrass myself by mentioning) and these two dudes were discussing the merits of above mentioned Sea Salt and how much better it was than the standard table salt.

Is this true?

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I order a 2lb bag a couple of times a year for my salt grinder. Looks cool and it's not that expensive. Other than the lack of iodine, no real difference in flavor. 

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1 hour ago, lindag said:

Is this true?

 

No.

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No. 

 

But standard table salt is pretty garbage. If someone wanted to wax on about the virtues of switching from table salt to something else in the context of cooking, the correct alternative is Diamond Crystal Kosher salt.

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No. Waste of money. @btbyrd nailed it. 

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16 hours ago, btbyrd said:

No. 

 

But standard table salt is pretty garbage. If someone wanted to wax on about the virtues of switching from table salt to something else in the context of cooking, the correct alternative is Diamond Crystal Kosher salt.

 

Standard table salt is not "garbage". It's table salt, meant to be used at the table in a salt shaker. It performs that role perfectly. If you want a cooking salt which you dose by hand, use Kosher. But there's no harmful additives in table salt or lower quality ingredients or anything that would merit the adjective of garbage.

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23 hours ago, btbyrd said:

No. 

 

But standard table salt is pretty garbage. If someone wanted to wax on about the virtues of switching from table salt to something else in the context of cooking, the correct alternative is Diamond Crystal Kosher salt.

 

Could you say a little more about why kosher salt is better than table salt?

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i don't think think there is much of a difference but i always prefer natural things 

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Of greater concern to me is the package of 250 million year old sea salt sitting on the shelf at the semi-local little specialty store that is going to expire in a few months. Apparently 250 million years and 9 months is all it can sustain.

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2 minutes ago, Tri2Cook said:

Apparently 250 million years and 9 months is all it can sustain

 I am alone and I just totally lost it.

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29 minutes ago, Tri2Cook said:

Of greater concern to me is the package of 250 million year old sea salt sitting on the shelf at the semi-local little specialty store that is going to expire in a few months. Apparently 250 million years and 9 months is all it can sustain.

It must have been harvested a little late.

HC

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7 hours ago, Shalmanese said:

 

Standard table salt is not "garbage". It's table salt, meant to be used at the table in a salt shaker. It performs that role perfectly. If you want a cooking salt which you dose by hand, use Kosher. But there's no harmful additives in table salt or lower quality ingredients or anything that would merit the adjective of garbage.

 

Not harmful (in fact, intended to be a health benefit) most table salt has added iodine.  When I first took cooking classes many moons ago we did a blind tasting of table salt vs sea salt with the same grind.  You could definitely taste the difference.  Since then I have used sea salt that I buy in bulk from whole foods or sprouts. Cheaper than kosher salt in the box.  Mind you I get it that when it's on the food, you probably can't tell the difference.

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Posted (edited)
On 20/05/2018 at 12:12 AM, Tri2Cook said:

the package of 250 million year old sea salt sitting on the shelf at the semi-local little specialty store that is going to expire in a few months.

 

As documented here.

 

What amuses/infuriates me most are the claims that one salt is more pure than another. Pure salt is quite simply sodium chloride  (NaCl)). Any flavour difference you might detect between salts are the impurities. So, any suggestion that say, Himalayan Pink Salt is somehow purer is is inherently nonsensical.

 

Pure salt is almost impossible to buy.

 

(and Kosher salt is a peculiarly American thing. And misnamed. Few have heard of it outside North America.)


Edited by liuzhou (log)
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7 minutes ago, liuzhou said:


I would have been entirely surprised if I'd been the first to notice that. But it's a true story, there actually is a container at the semi-local store that expires (yes, I do know it's actually a "best before" date) later this year. 

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1 hour ago, liuzhou said:

 

As documented here.

 

What amuses/infuriates me most are the claims that one salt if more pure than another. Pure salt is quite simply sodium chloride  (NaCl)). Any flavour difference you might detect between salts are the impurities. So, any suggestion that say, Himalayan Pink Salt is somehow purer is is inherently nonsensical.

 

Pure salt is almost impossible to buy.

 

(and Kosher salt is a peculiarly American thing. And misnamed. Few have heard of it outside North America.)

 

 

The name Kosher salt may be more or less American, but the salt is not misnamed.  Kosher salt is coarse salt used for Koshering meat.

 

I use Moroccan pink salt myself.

 

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Crystallization can purify a compound or material.

 

For instance to get ultra pure semiconductor material in chip making, a method known as zone refining is used. 

 

dcarch

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Jim D. said:

 

Could you say a little more about why kosher salt is better than table salt?

 

Sure. This is within the context of cooking, not using on the table. (Though I will admit, I hadn't purchased table salt in over a decade until I was recently forced by circumstance into doing.)

 

Table salt often has unnecessary additives such as iodine and anticaking agents like magnesium carbonate and sodium aluminosilicate. The particle size of table salt is the smallest of all the most common salts, which means that it weighs much more by volume. This small particle size is designed to facilitate flow from a shaker, but it's a liability when trying to dose salt by the pinch, dash, or spoonful. Because it's so highly concentrated by volume and because it's designed to flow quickly, over-seasoning is a constant worry. Also, I just don't like to touch the stuff. It's unpleasant on the fingers.

 

Neither do I care for the giant flakes of Morton's kosher salt. That is a good choice for actually doing koshering or salting meat, but the large particle size makes it difficult to get an even coating without over-seasoning. The large grains can also pose a liability when baking. The giant grains also take forever to dissolve in a brine.

 

Diamond Crystal kosher salt is the ideal particle size to actually touch with your hands. It's actually a mix of fine to medium sized particles, which makes it easy to grab and dose out with your fingers. It's easy to get even coverage when seasoning meat and vegetables without over-seasoning. Anecdotally, Diamond Crystal seems to be preferred by the vast majority of chefs for the reason that it's the perfect salt to actually season food with while you're cooking. And because the grains aren't super huge, you can bake with it as well, and it dissolves into brines relatively quickly. It's the best general purpose kitchen salt.


Edited by btbyrd (log)
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5 minutes ago, btbyrd said:

The particle size of table salt is the smallest of all the most common salts, which means that it weighs much more by volume. This small particle size is designed to facilitate flow from a shaker, but it's a liability when trying to dose salt by the pinch, dash, or spoonful. Because it's so highly concentrated by volume and because it's designed to flow quickly, over-seasoning is a constant worry. Also, I just don't like to touch the stuff. It's unpleasant on the fingers.

 

Neither do I care for the giant flakes of Morton's kosher salt. That is a good choice for actually doing koshering or salting meat, but the large particle size makes it difficult to get an even coating without over-seasoning. The large grains can also pose a liability when baking. The giant grains also take forever to dissolve in a brine.

 

I have certainly experienced the difficulty of getting a correct measurement when using Morton's kosher salt--1 teaspoon of it vs. 1 teaspoon of Morton's table salt--very different volumes (when using the metric system, it would be easier).  Thanks for clarifying why Diamond is preferable. Do you use Diamond rather than sea salt or employ both for different purposes? When I make salted caramel, my experience is that ordinary table salt imparts a much harsher, saltier flavor than the Maldon sea salt I use.

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2 minutes ago, Jim D. said:

Do you use Diamond rather than sea salt or employ both for different purposes? When I make salted caramel, my experience is that ordinary table salt imparts a much harsher, saltier flavor than the Maldon sea salt I use.

 

I use Diamond exclusively when cooking. I tend to use sea salts as finishing salts (Maldon or fleur de sel) rather than as something I'd cook with. Dishes where salt is an integral component (like salted caramel) might be an exception. I don't have anything against cooking with sea salt per se, but it all depends on which sea salt we're talking about. Some sea salts are better than others for different purposes. 

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5 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

The name Kosher salt may be more or less American, but the salt is not misnamed.  Kosher salt is coarse salt used for Koshering meat.

 

I know. So, Koshering salt would be more sensible. All salt is kosher, so far as I understand.

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I had to laugh, in a somewhat spiteful way, at a blog I stumbled upon while researching an article. The breathless blogger led by describing Himalayan pink salt as "the purest you can buy"...and then went on for several paragraphs, extolling its high levels of trace minerals. I swear, sometimes they just don't listen mentally to the words coming out of their mouths (or their fingers). Either it's pure, or it contains trace minerals (ie, impurities). Make up your mind, dude!

 

For the record, I do mostly use pink salt, because the coarse crystals look pretty in my clear-sided grinder and the fine crystals look pretty in my white salt pig. I have coarser pickling salt for brines and sauerkraut and suchlike, some smoked salt from some place or other, and a battered box of table salt somewhere in the bowels of the pantry to refill the shaker we keep on hand for guests.

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, btbyrd said:

 

I use Diamond exclusively when cooking. I tend to use sea salts as finishing salts (Maldon or fleur de sel) rather than as something I'd cook with. Dishes where salt is an integral component (like salted caramel) might be an exception. I don't have anything against cooking with sea salt per se, but it all depends on which sea salt we're talking about. Some sea salts are better than others for different purposes. 

 

 

I'm convinced.

 

(Strangely enough, the two (real) dudes who were discussing the merits of pink Himalayan sea salt were a county sheriff and the 'perp' he was arresting.)


Edited by lindag (log)

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Diamond is my go to for cooking and the table.   Larger  flakes are nice when you want a more assertive salt bite with texture like one might want in some desserts or on a nice cut of steak, raw tuna etc.  

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I use Diamond Crystal Kosher for all cooking and use Maldon or grey salt for finishing. Recently I tasted Morton's Kosher salt and it is pretty different from Diamond.  The Morton's is small grain, not as flaky and on the tongue it tastes peculiar.

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