Salt is a crystalline mineral, which can be of any size, made from two elements Sodium and Chlorine. Both the elements are essentials for our body.Salt is the most important ingredient in any type cooking, without it most of the dish taste bland and even bad. Salt is what is required by the body to function properly, you cannot completely avoid its intake no matter what. Excess eating or not eating salt at all can give rise to serious health problem, even eating the right type of salt is also the trick. There are various types of salt found in nature some are mined and some obtained from the sea. Below are some of the common salts used in our daily cookings.
The most common of all, obtained from the saline water of sea by evaporation method. Used in the daily cooking. Pungent in taste, semi-large crystal, and the salt is further refined and treated to make it consumable. Can be reddish in color due to its iron content.
Iodized Salt or Refined Salt
Regular sea salt, refined and sold after adding iodine to it, making it an iodized salt.
Regular sea salt added with herbs or spices like rosemary, chilies, onion, etc. giving it an additional flavor.
Regular iodized salt filled in bottles, kept arranged on dining table for last minute seasoning.
Very fine salt, used in brine’s to pickle foods, doesn’t have any additives, keeps the liquid from clouding up.
Rock Salt (Sendha Namak)
Large crystal salt mined from deposits in the earth, reddish gray in color, very low in sodium, it obtains its color from the minerals and other impurities which is mixed in it. Used in making of ice cream in ice cream machine. In India this salt is considered and is used in all type of religious fasting’s. Considered best salt to eat by Ayurveda. Also called as Himalayan Pink Salt.
Black Salt (Black Salt)
Dark reddish black color salt found in un-uniformed crystal shape, when grounded turns to pinkish color, very pungent taste and odor. Used in chat and other tangy dishes. It gets it smell from the sulfur content it has, rich in iron and other minerals. Also used in Ayurveda for treatment for constipation, indigestion, bloating, heartburn, etc.
Large grained crystals of salt, coarse and flakier texture, free from additive. This salt is basically used in preparation of kosher meat, this is where it gets its name from. The large crystal of the salt draws more blood out of the meat when compared to normal salt. This has light flavor which disperses quickly also this salt dissolves faster than sea salt. Used in making of cocktails like margaritas.
Regular salt smoked over wood fire to add additional flavor to it, this is done carefully avoiding the moisture. Used in soups and gravies for flavor.
Light Salt (Lite Salt)
Salt substitute or Salt which are low in sodium and used potassium chloride to reduce the sodium. Taste is bland, used by those who has some medical reason.
This is actually not a salt but citric acid which is used in canning of fruits to prevent the browning process.
Other Regional Salt
The salt which gets its name from the country or state where it first originated.
Fleur de Sel (Flower of Salt)
Obtained from the salty pond of France, considered best off all salt, harvested by hand, the process requires skimming of the salt from top of the pond during the early evaporation, the condition should be right i.e. windy and sunny weather then only it blooms like a flower on the water surface. Best in flavor and taste, melts slowly.
Obtained by the process of solar evaporation of water from the Celtic sea. Gray in color due to presence of clay where it is harvested. Also called as Gray Salt.
Italian Sea Salt (Sicilian Sea Salt, Sale Marino)
Obtained by harvesting from the lower Mediterranean Sea by hand using traditional methods of natural evaporation, high in iodine, fluorine, magnesium and potassium.