Sea salt is an important part of cuisine all over the world. There is a wide variety of sea salt on the market and many different types are used depending on where you are in your food travels and what you prefer. There is no shortage of sea salt on the market, but each type does have its own peculiarities and properties which make them unique. Each type of sea salt is a closely guarded secret, however, there are some important things you should know about sea salts to make a better buying decision.
Fine Sea Salt Rachael in the Ocean is known by the same name in Hawaii and Tahiti. It falls into the coarse grain category and is used in a variety of dishes including pizza sauce, salsas, dips and stews. It is often sprinkled over food before or at the last dining table of guests. This fine sea salt can also be found as a table salt or added to cocktails. As its name suggests it is made from marine debris washed up on beaches around the world.
Crystallized Sea Saltires are harvested in waters around the world including the Andaman Islands, South America and Alaska. They are harvested using a process that leaves behind a fine dust like material. When this fine dust is added to sea salt, it alters the salt’s chemical and physical properties making it unique. As such it is difficult to reproduce and as a result the prices of crystallized sea salt is higher than other sea salt products.
Cushioned Sea Salt Cuts can be used for sprinkling on top of baked potatoes or carrots to give them a fluffy texture. They are also ideal for use in sea salt spoons and are perfect for use with sushi, salads and as a seasoning for grilled vegetables. Cushioned sea salt makes a good addition to any recipe calling for sea salt and is also suitable for use in candy recipes. They are often found as bags of crystals cut into fine pieces.
Combined Sea Salts is created when coarse sea salts and fine sea salt are combined. The resulting product has increased physical and chemical characteristics that make it ideal for cooking and baking. It helps to retain heat within food so makes it more chewable. Combined sea salts are also popular as table salts and are commonly used to help enhance the flavor in foods such as tomatoes, onions and eggs. As with all sea salts they are not recommended for direct contact with foods.
Kelp is derived from mud which is formed by living organisms and fossilized coral reefs. Its chemical composition is identical to that of sea salts and has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine and as an antiseptic. The high sodium content enables it to eliminate toxins in water making it a natural disinfectant. Asian markets now export Kelp to other countries but it is still grown largely in the home country. Because of its trace minerals it has become a culinary favorite in Hawaii where it is used as a multi-purpose ingredient including in salsas, dips and desserts.
Sodium Chloride is the major component of sea salts and is commonly known as table salt or kosher salt. It has been scientifically proven to reduce blood pressure levels and improve cardiovascular health. In fact, its consumption is encouraged for those with high blood pressure and conditions such as diabetes. Proponents claim its ability to neutralize gastric acids and reduce the absorption of cholesterol from various sources. Proponents also claim that it helps to prevent heart disease and that the evidence supports the notion that increasing consumption of it lowers your risk of developing coronary artery disease.
Selenium is another important trace mineral. Its role in regulating thyroid function is supported by numerous studies. It is believed to help prevent cataracts and promote healthy eyesight. Since it is largely harvested from seawater, it has the potential to be a toxic contaminant when introduced to land life. However, there are a number of producers of natural sea salts who have added selenium to their products and these products are much safer for consumption.