Salt is the most basic kitchen ingredient of all times. It is one such inexpensive wonder which can take a dish to the next level. Right from enhancing flavor in foods to helping the brain in sending vital electrical signals throughout the body, salt has a variety of benefits.
Types of Salt and their health benefits
Salt comes in unique colors, textures, uses, and flavors! It is found in seawater and rock formations. Salt is formed from sodium chloride and other chemical compounds and is a naturally occurring mineral, located almost everywhere in the world.
Let’s take a look at the different types of salt and their benefits below:
Sea Salt is basically a type of salt that is gathered from evaporated seawater. It is naturally obtained in dry climates in locations with bays and ponds. Sea salts tend to have lots of benefits, some of which include:
– Retaining minerals and nutrients from the sea that are lost in refined salts.
– Giving food more potent mouthfeel.
– Creating bigger bursts of flavour.
– Naturally containing zinc, potassium, and iodine.
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Types of sea salt – different types of salt
Smoked Salt is a salt that is slowly smoked over a fire for nearly two weeks. This helps in giving meat and hearty vegetables a smoky and woody flavor. Each smoked sea salt is different, depending on the wood it is smoked with. Different woods include hickory, oak, mesquite, alder, etc. It can be used as table salt, for cooking, and also for baking.
Originally used to bless tools, homes, and canoes, this salt is now used to add a finishing touch and a robust flavor to seafood and meats. The coarse grains of this salt offers a slightly briny flavor. It comes in two varieties: The Lava Salt and the Alaea Salt.
While the Lava Salt is a sea salt mixed with charcoal, Alaea Salt is mixed with alaea clay. Lava Salt is black in cooler with a slight hint of sulfur flavor while Alaea Salt is red in color and has a mild flavor. These salts can be used as table salt and for cooking but not for baking. Its most common use is for the purpose of finishing seafood and barbecue meats.
Fleur de Sel
This salt is highly-priced and is thus labeled as ‘caviar of salts’. It is only produced off the coast of Brittany in France, during the months of May to September and can only be extracted on sunny, dry, and slightly breezy days because of its paper-thin delicate crystals. This salt is perfect as a finishing salt for savory meals, and sweets like chocolate and caramel. It has a light briny flavor and has a highly desirable blue-gray tint. It can be used as table salt, for cooking purposes and while baking.
Types of sea salt – different types of salt
This salt, also recognized as ‘sel gris’ is extracted from the mineral-rich seawater on the coastal shores of France. This salt holds a briny taste and is used as table salt and for cooking but not for baking.
Flake Salt has most of its water content evaporated, thus producing a drier and more pyramid-like crystal that dissolves more quickly than other sea salts. It adds a dynamic pop of flavor in dishes that its added to and is taken and crafter from coastal regions of England. Some of its common uses include Finishing meats, seafood, baked goods, and creating spice blends.
Rock salt is salt extracted from underground salt mines through the process of mining with dynamite. It is then crushed further for food use. Rock Salt is generally found under the rugged layers of the earth’s surface and is scientifically called ‘halite’. Some of its amazing benefits include:
– Contains more natural minerals and elements found in the human body.
– Adds an eye-appealing look when added to rimming cocktail glasses.
– Gives additional texture and flavor on bread and other baked items.
– It can be used as a cure and to remove toxins from meats.
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Types of rock salt – different types of salt
Being the purest salt in the world, the Himalayan Salt contains 84 minerals that are found in the human body. No wonder Himalayan salt is the go-to flavor booster for health-conscious people around the world. This pink in colour salt, with iron ore, and ivory traced throughout, is mined from the Khewra Salt Mine in Pakistan. It has a bolder flavor from the highly complex mineral content and is great for cooking and baking. It also has a high heat tolerance and is often used for spa treatments to release ions into the air.
Kosher Salt is a popular salt known for its ability to draw out blood from pieces of meat. This process is called ‘koshering’. Kosher Salt helps in extracting blood from meat before cooking. Due to its coarse structure, the kosher salt is the most efficient salt that can be used for the koshering process.
Almost all great chefs in the industry know about this salt and use it for its versatility in cooking, baking, finishing and curing. It also has the tendency to add more pronounced bursts of flavor to the dishes. Kosher Salt is easier for picking up and sprinkling over food as it lacks metallic or bitter-tasting notes. This allows it to have a much purer and cleaner flavor.
This salt helps in removing toxins from meat before cooking steak, poultry, sausages, and roasts. It makes serving meat safe for those who consume it. This salt is also sometimes dyed pink to inhibit the growth of bacteria and to help distinguish it from table salt. You must only use this salt for the purpose of cooking. It must not be used for baking or as table salt.
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Types of rock salt – different types of salt
This salt is a non-melting salt, which makes it perfect for finishing pretzels and other bread. Make sure you do not use it for cooking purposes, as table salt or for baking. It is only used for finishing bread such as pretzels, focaccia, bagels, and rolls.
Kala Namak, also popularly called ‘black salt’ is a mixture of Himalayan salt, charcoal, bark, herbs, and seeds. It is a pungent salt with a beautiful, reddish-black color. This mixture is sealed in a ceramic jar and fired in a furnace for nearly 24 hours before being cooled down and stored away to be aged before being sold. Kala Namak can be used for cooking purposes only and must not be used for baking. Some of its common uses include cooking hearty dishes and vegan meals.
Fine salts are extremely fine salt grains that are extracted from salt brines. Some of its benefits include:
– Dissolves more easily.
– Measures accurately in volume.
– Perfect for last-minute sprinkling and seasoning.
Types of fine salt – different types of salt
Table salt is the perfect all-purpose salt used as an ingredient or seasoning in almost all cooking and baking recipes. It contains iodine and anti-caking agents which is usually added to prevent clumping and to keep the salt flowing freely. Table salt has a uniform crystal size, which is great for concise and consistent cooking while measuring in volume.
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Salt Powder, also known as flour salt, is an even finer grain than table salt. It blends into recipes easily and ensures a uniform taste. The salt powder can be used for coating snack mixes, sprinkling on salads, in sauces, soups, and batters. It can be used as table salt and for cooking but must not be used for the purpose of baking.
Canning and Pickling Salt
The type of salt you pick as the key ingredient in pickling and canning process is actually meaningful. This finer grain of salt features a small grain that keeps the quality of produce in its best condition. It contains additives, minerals, or iodine and is much more concentrated. You can use it for cooking purposes but you must avoid using t as table salt or for baking.
This salt is used to add extra flavor to popcorn, fries, nachos, corn, and other savory snacks and dishes. It is a superfine salt which adheres to freshly cooked items. It comes in different flavors varying from butter, sour cream & onion, garlic, jalapeño to more and is used to dress up your snacks. Avoid using it as table salt, for cooking, or for baking.
Lastly, Cleaning Salt is one type of salt used in a variety of ways to clean everything – from kitchens to bathrooms and can prolong the life of appliances. It is not used to eat in any manner and exists solely for the purpose of cleaning things. Some of its benefits include:
– Softening water to avoid hard water stains and calcium build-ups.
– Polishing or deodorizing appliances.
– Wiping away rust.
– Shining brass or copper
How many forms of salts did you know before reading this article? These are the 15 different types of salt that form naturally in different parts of the world. Knowing their differences can help you have a better experience with them.
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Disclaimer: This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.