All About Kosher Salt – The Difference Between Kosher and Sea Salt
Kosher salt is one of the most important kinds of salt found on supermarket shelves and in many recipes today. It has many baking and cooking benefits: Its unique properties to bind ingredients together, improve texture and flavor and preserve food make it indispensable to cuisines all over the world. Yet, in recent years kosher salt has come under increased scrutiny. With the growth of Jewish food cravings and the Passover holiday approaching, it has become increasingly important to learn how to buy kosher salt properly, so that it can provide the greatest value and satisfaction for both cooks and consumers.
Kosher salt is made from the Dead Sea salt deposits of Israel. Because of its uniquely balanced mineral content, kosher salt is able to regulate the internal temperatures of foods and its ability to retain and maintain its moisture balance. That allows it to work wonderfully as a seasoning or food preservative. But it also provides a wide range of benefits for cooks and consumers, including: improved flavor and texture of cooked foods, a reduction in moisture absorption from the food, and enhanced tenderization and concentration of flavors.
All kosher salt is made by soaking it in water for several hours, then removing the moisture and weighing it. The heavier the crystal, the more salt it contains. Kosher salt with a high sodium chloride content is harder brine than others, which makes it ideal for using as a seasoning. Kosher salt is also known for its ability to regulate the interior of foods, such as reducing or eliminating “cale” – the white luster on the surface of meat products that develops when curing.
When shopping for kosher salt, you may notice that it comes packaged in a variety of shapes, depending on how coarse or fine the crystal is. Clamshell kosher salt is the most common form and has an array of different colored flakes inside. They are usually pinkish or whitish in color and are usually harvested straight from the ocean. This type of kosher salt has a very high sodium level and should only be used in highly-cleaned environments.
Most table salt on the market is not kosher salt, since it contains a very small amount of kosher minerals. Table salt is created by grinding up the seawater and then adding certain additives to it in order to increase its saltiness. These additives are usually made from magnesium, iron, or other metal salts. Each of these can have a unique effect on the salt’s ability to absorb, such as softening it or improving its elasticity and/or “thickness.”
Many kosher salt manufacturers also add “bleaching agents” to their salt products, such as potassium or calcium phosphate. These are supposed to improve the color and overall “look” of kosher salt. However, the best way to gauge whether a product is kosher salt or regular salt is to weigh them side by side. kosher salt tends to be less likely to stick to foods, and is more likely to leave behind pockets of “salt residue,” which can’t be completely removed without the use of a special brine solution. Regular salt tends to retain more of its salt particles, and can end up tasting more like regular table salt.
Kosher salt is not evenly distributed throughout the world, with most kosher salt being found in Western Europe and the United States. More kosher salt is coming from Australia and the rest of the developing world, because it has become a more affordable alternative for consumers in these regions. In fact, it’s now starting to replace traditional salt in many parts of the world, because it’s more environmentally friendly and healthier for consumers. The lack of processing allows kosher salt to retain more of its nutrients, leaving it healthier and more valuable to people who eat a lot of healthily.
In order to get the most out of your kosher salt purchases, however, you should know which kind you’re actually buying. While there are differences between kosher salt table salt and sea salt, both contain the minerals and trace elements that our bodies need to function normally. Sea salt is often less processed than table salt (which contains lots of additives), so it’s considered a healthier alternative for people who want to minimize their sodium intake while still enjoying the crunchy, salty taste that kosher salt provides.