Finding Higher Quality Ingredients

Sea Salt: How Is It Any Different From Standard Table Salt?

by Marvin Martin

Salt is salt, right? After all, if table salt from salt mines was good enough for royalty in the Middle Ages, it is good enough for everyone else now. Actually, there are many different kinds of salt, and some may surprise you. Additionally, most kinds of salt are found in nature, whereas many kinds of sweeteners have been manufactured in a lab. Does the type of salt you are using really make any difference in cooking, though? You might be surprised. Check out the following types of salt and gourmet salts to see how really different they can be. 

Halite from Mines

Halite, which is the clear, crystalline form of table salt, is harvested from salt mines. Giant chunks of clear, crystal structures are removed and harvested from these mines. The halite is then shipped to salt processing plants, where the halite is "cleaned" and then ground into a fine powder. At this point, it is pure salt, but additives are mixed in to keep the ground salt grains from clumping. Moisture and heat frequently make salt granules stick to each other, which would make it very difficult to get it out of a salt shaker. Almost everyone, and especially most restaurants, add salt to food they serve, even if the food was previously frozen and preserved in a brine of salt and water. 

Pink Halite

Pink halite, or Himalayan sea salt, is a gourmet salt with a very distinct pink color. It is mined in special salt mines in the Himalayas, and it is presumed to be what is left of the ancient height of the ocean, when waters rose high enough to leave seawater behind in mountain caves and then the water evaporated and mixed with another mineral to produce the recognizable pink salt. It has only a slightly different flavor from other salts, but it is used more often to add distinct color to meat rubs, sauces, and drinks. 

Sea Salt

Sea salt is the hot thing in salts right now. It is taken from ocean water that has been purified and then dehydrated to leave behind the salt crystals, which are very different in shape and crystal structure from mined halite. Because the ocean is so vast and such a big source for salt, it is easy to create this salt and sell it for flavoring everything from desserts to meats and main courses. 

For more information about buying sea salt, reach out to businesses like Salts of the 7 Seas.