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Pink Himalayan Sea Salt


lindag
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Perhaps the best essay I've ever read on chic salts is Jeffrey Steingarten's "Salt Chic" in "It Must've Been Something I Ate." The essay explores the impact that different trace minerals have on the perception of salt flavors. The gist is that not all "sea salts" are created equal; some are indistinguishable in flavor from inexpensive and pure Diamond Crystal, while others have detectable flavor differences -- not always for the better. McGee joins in to drop some science knowledge. If you've never read Steingarten, you're in for a treat. 

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Bizarrely, despite being a lot nearer the Himalayas than most people here, the only Himalayan pink salt I have ever seen in China was imported from Italy!

 

salt.thumb.jpg.1b31b4ccf4f4e01dbb3a3b4b924e1cdc.jpg

 

Yes, it expires in July 2020.

I am convinced there are a bunch of Tibetans or Nepalis somewhere in the mountains having a good giggle at the gullible westerners who buy this!

 

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I read online that a lot of sea salt now contains micro-plastic.

The recommendation was to purchase the Pink Himalayan Sea Salt since it's not likely to contain the micro-plastics (that is, until we start getting micro-plastic in our rain ¬¬ ).

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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  • 4 months later...

Funny article.

 

I use Maldon flake salt to finish - I just like the texture of the huge flakes.

 

I like colored salts (pink, black) for one reason - I am 60 years old and so are my eyes.  I honestly can't see the salt on my food at the table when I use regular white salt.  😄

 

I have no confidence in the ability of my palate to distinguish between different salts.  

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  • 1 year later...

Three years ago walking around Kathmandu I found this salt in the market. Great, I thought, get the real stuff, right in the Himalayas, why get prepacked plastic wrapped stuff? Granted it was covered in flies, but it's salt, right? No cells or virions reproducing on that. I can always give it a quick rinse, all safe. This is how real people have had real salt in the real world for millions of years. And here in Kathmandu, they're using it everywhere. I'm probably eating this every meal.

Back home in England, I'm worried about the chemical content of the salt. Untested. Probably OK for dressing...

What would you do? I've got 250g. Cost negligible.

IMG_20210609_232623.jpg

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I think you said you are in medical field. Possibly some not so great minerals included but in moderation - go for it. Grate or smash a bit and see how it tastes. Do let us know or we will worry ;)

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20 minutes ago, Kerala said:

The lack of reports of death by Nepalese market salt is encouraging. If it was just me...

I’d be very curious to know why the flies found it so interesting.  

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

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14 minutes ago, Anna N said:

I’d be very curious to know why the flies found it so interesting.  

 

Maybe they need salt. Many animals lick from salt licks to get their essential supply of minerals. Whether that includes insects, I do not know. I'm an etymologist; not an entomologist.  

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

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19 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

 

Maybe they need salt. Many animals lick from salt licks to get their essential supply of minerals. Whether that includes insects, I do not know. I'm an etymologist; not an entomologist.  

Yes I am very aware of many animals requiring and seeking out salt but flies I’m not so sure of! When they hang about things I usually don’t want to indulge. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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28 minutes ago, Anna N said:

Yes I am very aware of many animals requiring and seeking out salt but flies I’m not so sure of! When they hang about things I usually don’t want to indulge. 

 

A fly is buzzing about my computer as I write.  I've been wanting one of those salt air rifles with laser sights for offing insects.

 

Yesterday I took delivery of five pounds of Himalayan sea salt.

 

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First, Himalayan pink salt is rock salt not sea salt. I'm sure you all realise that but the bloggers don't seem to. In terms of impurities, I strongly suspect some potassium chloride due to the colour, but don't quote me on that. KCl does tend to have a bit of a bitter flavour, as anyone who has used light salt, could probably taste. 

 

In Australia you can get Murray River Pink Salt. I usually see the flake form, so not really designed for salt grinders or shakers, although a grinder does work. According to the web page, they do make coarser grinder salt. I was fortunate enough to take a field trip to the area where they produce the salt. It is basically a by-product of an operation to pump salty groundwater and keep it from flowing into the river. Some of the water is diverted into salt evaporation basins and recovered. Interestingly, it is pinkish in the basins but fades to white in the air. The company was quite cagy about how they get the pink salt. It seemed to involve adding brine from another well.

20181114_093501.thumb.jpg.12019bc76c87e4a02db8ea7d32061b79.jpg

 

20181114_090314.thumb.jpg.b524efe4cadc82519f1ee19e519526c1.jpg

 

I suspect that the flavour of finishing salt mostly depends on the texture and how it dissolves on your tongue.

 

Bonus: Maldon Salt. I had to look this up because I didn't really know much about it. Many of you probably know that one of the features they tout is the pyramid shape of the crystals as opposed to the more common halite cubes. Maldon is located at the end of the estuary of the River Blackwater. Sound appetising? Well here's the thing, In 1763, M. Romé de l'Isle discovered you could get salt to crystallise as octahedral pyramids by adding urea. So maybe Maldon salt does have a unique flavour. 

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19 minutes ago, haresfur said:

I think you might find that ultimately even rock salt is sea salt — in the case of Himalayan salt from a shallow sea that evaporated 800 million years ago. 
 

“The Salt Range originated 800 million years ago when evaporation of a shallow sea followed by under thrusting of the Indian Plate formed a range that stretched for about 300 kilometres.”

Here.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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55 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

 

All salt is sea salt!

 

Was sea salt. Sea salt is conventionally considered to be salt evaporated directly from seawater, usually, by human-controlled processes. Once it is buried it becomes recrystalised and often flows due to its ductility, which modifies the material.

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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7 minutes ago, haresfur said:

 

Was sea salt. Sea salt is conventionally considered to be salt evaporated directly from seawater, usually, by human-controlled processes.

 

Maybe conventionally to you. If it was sea salt, it's still sea salt, i.e. salt that came from the sea. I have sea salt in my kitchen. It's no longer in the sea, so it's not sea salt?

I'd say the use of "sea salt" is more of a marketing tool than a convention.

Edited by liuzhou (log)

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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12 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

 

Maybe conventionally to you. If it was sea salt, it's still sea salt, i.e. salt that came from the sea. I have sea salt in my kitchen. It's no longer in the sea, so it's not sea salt?

I'd say the use of "sea salt" is more of a marketing tool than a convention.

 

Sea salt - taken from the sea

Rock salt -  sedimentary rock that consists almost entirely of halite

 

Trust me, I'm a geologist

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34 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

 

 

Are you saying sedimentary salt was never in the sea? Sediment from what?

 

No more than I would say siltstone was never in the sea (although in the case of silt, not dissolved). It is the process of burial and lithification that makes halite precipitated from evaporating sedimentary basin brine into rock salt. 

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