Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sea Salt or Rare Crystals


Craig Camp
 Share

Recommended Posts

As I toss a heaping handful of sea salt into my pasta water I am again dumbstruck at the difference in costs between sea salt in Italy and in the USA. I buy a kilogram (2.2 pounds) of lovely, minerally tasting sea salt for about $.15 US. In the USA prices are so much higher than this it is incomprehensible.

Why?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yow! My 2 pound bag of sea salt is $7.29!!!!

Of course, in my small California town I can only find good sea salt in the health food store, where the markups are beyond high. I like to support our small local stores, but with markups like that, and their weird, earth-muffin hours, I have begun to shop online for health and specialty foods. I still won't find salt for 7 cents a pound, though. That's amazing.

_____________________

Mary Baker

Solid Communications

Find me on Facebook

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually it is hard to buy anything but sea salt here. If you go to discount stores they have full pallets stacked with 1 kilo boxes of both course and fine sea salt that sells for $.13! I have never actually seen the regular table salt like we buy in the USA available in the stores here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This link explains a lot.

points to note:

1.The requirements of Europe and North America are met mostly by mining while in Asia, Africa, Australia and South America, solar evaporation is the main source.

2.In the USA for instance nearly 97% of the total production of approximately 40 million tons is used for non-edible purposes.

3.A major portion of salt produced in USA and Canada is by the dry and solution mining of underground deposits. There is a small amount of solar salt production along the California coast and in Utah and Arizona.

4.Poland, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Holland mine rock salt almost exclusively. France and Italy have facilities for both rock and solar salt production. Russia and the Newly Independent Republics, Bulgaria and Romania have a relatively small proportion of solar salt production from the waters of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov; the bulk of their requirement is met by rock salt mining. Greece, Spain and Yugoslavia depend almost entirely on solar salt although they have rock salt deposits also. In the hinterland of Spain there are salt springs and saline lagoons from which salt is produced. Portugal produces rock salt and solar salt in almost equal quantities.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mined salt and 'sea salt' are the same thing. One was deposited eons ago when ancient seas dried up. Except for trace minerals they are both sodium chloride. There are those that tell you that they taste different but that is usually due to the different crystal form. In solution the difference can't be detected, period. Salts that are colored having a large precentage of foreign material do taste different. WE use Morton 'Kosher' for most uses with Baleine sea salt, course and fine in reserve. A supply of 'Fleur de Sel' is kept on hand for esoteric uses. -Dick

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As I toss a heaping handful of sea salt into my pasta water I am again dumbstruck at the difference in costs between sea salt in Italy and in the USA. I buy a kilogram (2.2 pounds) of lovely, minerally tasting sea salt for about $.15 US.  In the USA prices are so much higher than this it is incomprehensible.

Why?

I never put salt in pasta water.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As I toss a heaping handful of sea salt into my pasta water I am again dumbstruck at the difference in costs between sea salt in Italy and in the USA. I buy a kilogram (2.2 pounds) of lovely, minerally tasting sea salt for about $.15 US.  In the USA prices are so much higher than this it is incomprehensible.

Why?

I never put salt in pasta water.

Why in the world not?

Your radical behavior is confusing 59 million Italians. :wink:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After spending a ridiculous amount on fleur de sel in New York, I was in a fish shack in Vancouver, B.C. They were selling bags of sea salt for virtually nothing (something like C$0.25). I bought a few bags and my Vancouver sea salt is now in the rotation with the other "specialty" salts in my spice collection.

Knowledge is good.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe just my imagination, but Mortons regular (not Kosher) salt has a peculiar alkaline taste compared to sea and Kosher salts -- even if I'm putting it into boiling water for pasta. For that reason, I eschew Mortons regular whenever I can. I think that Fleur du sel or similar pricey salts should be reserved for sprinkling on food just before you put it in your mouth so you get the full effect of the briny, sea flavors and the little bit of crunchiness as they're released.

Oh, J[esus]. You may be omnipotent, but you are SO naive!

- From the South Park Mexican Starring Frog from South Sri Lanka episode

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe just my imagination, but Mortons regular (not Kosher) salt has a peculiar alkaline taste compared to sea and Kosher salts . . . . I think that Fleur du sel or similar pricey salts should be reserved for sprinkling on food just before you put it in your mouth so you get the full effect of the briny, sea flavors and the little bit of crunchiness as they're released.

I agree about the specialty salts. We can taste salt, so you do want that taste in the combination. And for the cost, you might as well taste it up front.

I haven't used Morton's iodized in so long, I forgot what it tastes like, but I think I did notice when I tasted Kosher that it was "gentler" to the taste buds than I remembered....

edited because I pushed Submit too soon.

Edited by klc14 (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe just my imagination, but Mortons regular (not Kosher) salt has a peculiar alkaline taste compared to sea and Kosher salts -- even if I'm putting it into boiling water for pasta.  For that reason, I eschew Mortons regular whenever I can.  I think that Fleur du sel or similar pricey salts should be reserved for sprinkling on food just before you put it in your mouth so you get the full effect of the briny, sea flavors and the little bit of crunchiness as they're released.

I kind of agree. I have tasted/tested Morton's Kosher vs. Diamond Kosher head to head over and over again and I prefer Diamond Kosher every time. When compared with the kosher, regular mortons is a totally different product. Because of it's shape kosher is much less potent by volume.

Does yellow prussiate of soda have a flavor discernible in the Morton's Kosher salt?

Diamond Kosher, at least as the label would have me believe, does not have the yellow prussiate of soda that is added to Morton's as an anti-caking agent.

The shapes are very different. Could this be the reason and not the Y.P.S?

Edited by fiftydollars (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ciao,

An earlier post said it right...all the different salts that are out there are just that...salts. They taste differently when dry because they have different shaped crystalline formations. In a water solution - it is almost impossible to tell the differences in aroma and taste alone.

Please clarify why YOU wouldn't add salt to your pasta water!!!

I love the Italian Orange box for large grain (grosso) - blue box for fine (fino)!!!

Ciao!

Ore

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please clarify why YOU wouldn't add salt to your pasta water!!!

At some point in my life I though I was consuming too much salt (I can't remember exactly why now though)-so I took a serious look at how I used salt in every step of preparing my food.

Salt in pasta water seemed superfluous at best-leaving it out produced no appreciable change in flavour so why put it in?

I now use very very little salt-although my taste buds have changed a bit as I age I now use a tad on tomatoes that I eat raw.

Living as I do a few blocks from the sea and spending a certain amount of time boating I eat enough salt daily as it is.I do eat a lot of chile/herbs in my food so it's not as if my everyday fare is bland as Belgium.

I just had a look @ the 800 gram container of sea salt I bought at Caper's over 10 years ago-it's still half full.

Edited by Sam Salmon (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yow! My 2 pound bag of sea salt is $7.29!!!!

Of course, in my small California town I can only find good sea salt in the health food store, where the markups are beyond high. I like to support our small local stores, but with markups like that, and their weird, earth-muffin hours, I have begun to shop online for health and specialty foods. I still won't find salt for 7 cents a pound, though. That's amazing.

"Earth Muffin?!!" Damn, damn funny!! Oh cheeze, what a giggle-fest!! :biggrin:

Shelley: Would you like some pie?

Gordon: MASSIVE, MASSIVE QUANTITIES AND A GLASS OF WATER, SWEETHEART. MY SOCKS ARE ON FIRE.

Twin Peaks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After spending a ridiculous amount on fleur de sel in New York, I was in a fish shack in Vancouver, B.C. They were selling bags of sea salt for virtually nothing (something like C$0.25). I bought a few bags and my Vancouver sea salt is now in the rotation with the other "specialty" salts in my spice collection.

please tell us where exactly. Wow sea salt for $.25 Canadian.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

...leaving it out produced no appreciable change in flavour so why put it in?

That is remarkable. I just can't imagine it. It surely makes a difference to me. At times I've needed to cut back on salt, and have, but I would do without pasta before I would not add any to the water. Once I forgot to salt it, and to me it was inedible... I didn't eat it.

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My understanding is that adding salt to water makes it boil at a higher temperature.

In one manner, all salt is the same. It's all sodium chloride except for certain trace elements and impurities. On the other hand, when it's not in solution is can be quite different to use because of the crystalline structure. So it's all the same but sea salt is not synonymous with fleur de sel. Fleur de sel is a specific sort of sea salt that is pure white, very jagged so it clings to food and of a very uniform size that suitable for sprinkling on foods where you want that crunchy saltiness. Naturally, plain sea salt is going to be less expensive than fleur de sel. To get back to the trace elements and impurities, the sea salt I like is the grey salt from Brittany. I don't know what makes it grey. For all I know it's offshore oil spills. I will pick up a kilo when I'm there, but I think it's ridiculous to pay the price I see it going for in "gourmet" markets in the states.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My understanding is that adding salt to water makes it boil at a higher temperature.

Bux, Bux, Bux... We have been here before. :laugh: The fractional degrees of difference in boiling temperature will make no practical difference in cooking times. You get more variation with differences in altitude. The point is, to get salt into the "body" of the pasta (or rice) for flavor. Rice or pasta without salt is, to me, just yuk.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...