3/7/08

An Ocean of Sea Salt

In the category of popular and proliferating products, today we shall discuss sea salt.

Sea salt is everywhere you look these days – on television, in recipes, and even easy to find at your local grocery store. Don’t blink or it will end up in your pantry without you knowing how it got there!

As the name implies, sea salt is harvested from the sea and dried either by the sun or in kilns. It contains approximately 2% trace elements such as iron, magnesium or iodine. By comparison the table salt you’ve been using for most of your life is mined from land-based sources and refined to become 99.9% pure sodium chloride. However, anti-caking additives, sugar and iodine (for thyroid health) are generally added.

Is sea salt better for you than table salt as is often said? According to the Mayo Clinic, this is not the case, as the main issue with either salt is overuse in one’s diet.

Now let’s talk flavor. Does sea salt taste better? We think it does, although results can vary due to the many varieties of sea salt available. In general, the flavor is earthier and more subtle, with differing textures to the salts as well.

A good resource for information and product is online at Saltworks. Varieties are available from locations in the Mediterranean, Atlantic, Pacific…the list goes on. Different flavors, textures, colors – get out there and try some gourmet sea salts and taste the difference it makes.

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