Sorting Out Salts

In today’s culinary world, even something like salt is not a simple ingredient anymore. At one time, students enrolled in culinary and pastry school programs would have just reached for the nearest shaker of table salt, but with different varieties available on the market, the decision of which salt to use becomes a little harder. Everyone has heard that sea salt is healthier than table salt, but fewer students may have heard about the benefits claimed by Himalayan pink salt.

Table salt is the most widely used salt. It is made up of tiny white granules and comes from underground deposits. This common variety goes through the most processing to have minerals removed and an additive is usually used to stop the granules from forming clumps. Iodine is often artificially re-added to table salt after processing to prevent a range of health problems. Iodine deficiencies are often linked to thyroid problems, goiters and birth defects.

Sea salt is actually very similar to table salt, except that the sources are different and sea salt undergoes less processing. Salts that come from the sea are not stripped of their minerals like table salt and usually retain a crystal-like shape rather than a granule. Sea salt is often hailed as the “healthy salt” but, in reality, contains the same amount of sodium as table salt. It does not, however, have any chemical additives. Some people also claim since sea salt has a stronger flavor when used in their recipes from online culinary courses, so less of it is required, making it the the healthier option by reduction.

Himalayan pink salt is not as commonly heard of as table salt or sea salt, but it has begun to gain in popularity as people search for the healthiest and most natural ingredients possible. These pink-hued crystals are attractive to culinary academy students interested in holistic foods because they boast the greatest amount of nutrients and trace elements, including iodine, magnesium, calcium, copper, potassium and iron. Himalayan pink salt is believed by many in the natural health world to have strong therapeutic qualities. It is said that this salt has can provide relief from arthritis, skin rashes, psoriasis, herpes, as well as flu and fever symptoms when used in food.

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