There’s no arguing that you should buy table salt in stores if you want to have the best salt for your food. But which salt is best? There are many different salts on the market, all of them with different properties, tastes and purposes. Many table salt products have been imported from various countries around the world, to help improve the flavor of many foods. Table salt was first invented in the 14th century, in what is now called Sweden.
Kosher salt comes from the kosher sea salt. Usually, kosher salt is used in place of regular table salt; but kosher salt is not strictly regulated, and thus, it can vary greatly in quality and purity. Most people think that kosher salt is salty, but this is not the case. Actually, kosher salt actually has a higher mineral content than regular table salt. This is one of the reasons why kosher salt is the only type that is approved for use as table salt by the American Heart Association. The main “flavor” in kosher salt is magnesium chloride.
Iodide is a major salt used in the manufacture of sea salt. Iodide is formed by the interaction of hydrogen and iodine. It is very rare, and the natural sources of iodine are rare, making this a very expensive salt. When iodine is used to make table salt, the iodine must be sourced from seawater, which is not feasible.
Dextrose is another salt commonly used in table salt. It is made by taking monosodiumglutamate (MSG) – a salt that are commonly found in junk food – and adding an additional base such as corn syrup or corn starch. While dextrose is extremely common in foods, you will find that kosher salt and dextrose do not generally mix well. If you buy table salt that is advertised as having no corn or other unnatural flavors, you are probably buying dextrose. Because of the high amount of iodine in dextrose, the salt tends to be very flavorless.
Another questionable food grade salt is the “food-safe” salt. There is a wide range of chemicals and other synthetic ingredients in food grade salt. These chemicals often Leach into the water you use to cook with, and can create dangerous contaminants in lakes, rivers, and oceans. You may have noticed that many pool owners are opting to use “natural” table salt for their swimming pools – but beware..
The US National Pool Health and Safety Association are a well-known member of the “Compact for Safe Cosmetics”. The group has been pushing for the inclusion of the word “nano” in the names of all pool supplies. “Nano” is a Japanese term for “no trace” or “indistinct”. Any ingredient or compound that has even a trace of artificial coloring will be considered a Nano ingredient. You see, the color of a mineral only becomes apparent when it is tested and determined to be harmless for humans. Since we can’t test everything that makes up our bodies, why would we want a pool supply that could potentially harm us?
Last but not least on the “No Trace” list are the minerals mentioned above. As we stated above, they become translucent when tested for purity. So, you may find a “cloudy” or” murky” look when you pour the salt into your pool. Chances are it was simply residue from the chemical cleaners used to clean the pool. But, if the salt was sourced from “oustical” sources, you would expect a crystal clear liquid to emerge. Unfortunately, some pool supply manufacturers refuse to use minerals that have been purified or distilled for this reason.
When it comes down to it, there really is no difference between table salt and sea salt. The only real difference is the cost. In this case, the cost of the salt ends up being well worth the money you save on buying it in the grocery store. Table salt is fine… but sea salt scores major points because it tastes so much better! And, the next time you crave salty flavor… try some sea salt for yourself!