All About Salt: From Their Origin to Their Spread and Cooking Utensils
Salt has been a mainstay of food preparation since the earliest times. From the first foods to be introduced in human civilizations, salt has played an important role. It is in the saltiest sauces and seafood that we find evidence of salt usage. Even in countries without much salt, the people still use salt as a main ingredient in their everyday cooking. We now have two major types of salt: rock salt and kosher salt.
When buying salt or planning to buy salt in the future, it is important to know which kind to purchase. Generally, when we buy seasoning or other goods, we prefer to have the common style of salt on hand, and this is the kosher salt (also known as table salt) that is used in most American kitchens. While typically advise that you store all three together for maximum freshness, you could use them interchangeably with any type of seasoning you like. Just remember, there is a difference between regular table salt and sea salt.
So what makes fine sea salt saltier than regular table salt? The answer lies in its chemical properties – that is, its magnesium and sodium content. As sea salt is very high in magnesium content and low in sodium content, it is considered a very salty variety. On the other hand, fine sea salt is a lot heavier – about twice as heavy as table salt and therefore, considered a very fine sea salt, suitable for adding to gravies and marinades.
While using these products will make your dishes taste fresher and add a unique flavor to them, it can also cause problems if you are allergic or sensitive to salt. If you are not sure whether or not you are allergic to salt, test your skin by putting a little of the salt on a piece of skin, wait for a few minutes, and then have a check. Most likely, your skin will give an immediate response; however, if you have sensitivity to salt, this reaction may not be immediately apparent. Thus, while using fine sea salt, it is best to check first if you have any reactions.
Irrespective of the texture you are looking for, you should be aware that salt crystals are formed when salt molecules come into contact with specific minerals such as calcium, iron or potassium. When salt crystals come into contact with these minerals, the molecules lock around them, forming salt crystals. Salt can become sticky when mixed with certain elements such as aluminum, which makes it less convenient to use as a seasoning material. Salt can also be slippery when mixed with certain fruits such as strawberry, which makes it difficult to use in pickles. Also, certain vegetable species, such as corn and peas, are sensitive to salt crystals, so they can be affected too.
Salt’s texture can have a significant impact on the flavor of a dish you are preparing. When you purchase salt at a local market or from a supermarket, pay close attention to its moisture content, texture and salt luster. Incorrect salt can have a fuller flavor than salt that has undergone a long soak in water. Furthermore, excessive salt in a dish can make it more rubbery or even slimy. To achieve the right salt texture and flavor, take time in selecting the salt for your cooking needs.
There are two main methods used to test salt’s texture: the traditional kneading method and the digital Kitchen Aid Food Test Panel. With the Kitchen Aid Test Panel, you simply cover the bowl with its probe and sprinkle a little bit of salt on the panel. If the salt flakes easily with a simple brushing motion, your salt is too gritty. Likewise, if salt becomes smooth and runs off the grater immediately, your salt has a high quality. Ideally, kosher salt should have a medium texture with a soft feel when you touch it, as it is harder to knead and absorb flavors better if it is too hard or too soft.
Kosher salt is a great addition to any pantry. It not only enhances the flavor of many foods, but it also prolongs their life by keeping them from going bad before they’re even cooked. Be sure to buy only the highest-quality salt you can find. Kosher salt is a great accessory for your kitchen. The next time you visit the grocery store, look for kosher salt – you’ll be glad you did!