Sea salt is frequently described as having a softer, more subtle taste than normal table salt, because it often has a smoother, less intense flavor. It is made from sea salt, which is harvested from ocean waters or salt water pools. In general, fine sea salt has a higher sodium content than coarse sea salt.
Sea salt has become increasingly popular as a food seasoning in American dining rooms, especially in southern restaurants. The variety available today includes all kinds of fine grains and salts with varying amounts of color, texture and mineral content. Most sea salt dishes on American dining tables are light and refreshing dishes that are served cold or as part of a cocktail or side dish.
Most sea salt varieties are safe for consumption, but there are still some controversy concerns about their health benefits. One concern is about the possible carcinogenicity of the magnesium and selenium contained in them. Some scientists theorize that eating large quantities of sea salt every day can cause health problems like cancer. Others say that while the mineral content of kosher salt may not be carcinogenic, ingesting large amounts of this can cause fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, and inflammation of internal organs like the bladder and colon. Still, other experts claim that the mineral content is too small to have any effects.
Another variety of sea salt that is highly valued by many consumers is the fine sea salt or kosher salt. It is not widely available in stores, but it is widely used as table salt or added to many foods that you buy in supermarkets. Fine sea salt has an extremely high mineral content; in fact, it is so high that it is the salt of choice for laboratory tests of various minerals. It contains more than ninety percent sodium chloride and trace minerals like potassium and magnesium.
One of the best-known examples of fine French sea salts is grey salt or sea salt. This is a type of sea salt that comes primarily from the northeast part of France, which borders the UK and the Netherlands. The name grey salt came about because the mineral properties of this particular kind of sea salt have led some to believe that it could repel birds, as birds have been found to nest in areas with grey sea salt deposits. Scientifically, however, this is not the only reason for its attraction to bird species: grey salts contain a lot of calcium and magnesium, both of which are important to the diet of birds and other wildlife. As a result, this particular type of sea salt has become popular as a food source for poultry and other livestock.
The texture can vary depending on the type of rock salt being used. Generally, the more coarsely-ground rocks have a weaker texture than those with a finer consistency. Most sea salt varieties have medium to medium- coarse grain, but they can still be considered coarse by most standards. This texture can also depend on the amount of rock salt contained in the product. Rocky salt contains very coarse grains and tends to have a metallic taste in the mouth; this taste is common among sea salt brands which use mostly calcium chloride.
The main difference between fine sea salt and coarse sea salt lies in the chemical composition. Fine sea salt tends to have a higher content of magnesium and sodium chloride, while coarse table salt tends to have a lower content of these two minerals. This mineral distinction is also true of mineral ions such as calcium and magnesium, and the levels of these ions tend to vary throughout the world. Although not strictly speaking an ion, sodium chloride is also often included in table salt.
When you buy sea salt online or in stores, look at the various grain sizes. Sea salt is available in all different grain sizes, and each size can have different texture depending on the concentration of minerals within the salt itself. You may notice that coarse sea salt (often including magnesium chloride) has a coarse texture, whereas fine salt tends to have a softer texture. This is because fine salts tend to contain larger particles, and these larger particles tend to have smaller crystals within them. The larger crystals give the salt its fine grain size, and this grain size makes the salt itself has a larger number of larger crystals. Coarse sea salts have fine to medium sized grains, and these fine grains are usually speckled with minerals from seawater.