A Quick Guide On Commonly Found Kinds of Salt + How to Use Them

What's the difference between rock salt, iodized salt, kosher salt, sea salt, and pink Himalayan salt?

IMAGE Courtesy of Pixabay

We often take our salt for granted, but it's the miracle ingredient that makes every single dish flavorful and delicious. Salt is the key to giving sweets that extra sweetness, bringing out the natural flavors of a main ingredient, and even preserving our food. This cornerstone ingredient of cooking deserves your attention, and there is more than one type of salt available From our local rock salt to the pink salt from the Himalayas, here's the lowdown on the commonly found types you can find in the market:

1 Table salt

Table salt is mined from salt deposits and goes through a refining process where traces of other naturally occurring minerals are lost. Its fine and even-grained texture makes it ideal for baking.

2 Iodized salt 

Iodized salt is table salt that has been fortified with iodine, an essential mineral in your diet. It has a slight metallic taste. Due to its smaller granules, a little of it goes a long way.

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3 Kosher salt 

Kosher salt was developed for the preparation of kosher meats in accordance to Jewish dietary laws. Its flaky texture makes it lighter and less dense than table salt. This is a great all-purpose salt as it dissolves fast and its flavor disperses quickly. You will find this type of salt in many foreign recipes. Keep in mind that kosher salt will yield a less salty product at the same amount as iodized salt.

4 Sea salt 

Sea salt is made by evaporating salt water collected from the ocean or sea. It is available in fine and coarse grains and has a fresher, lighter flavor than standard table salt. Local sea salt is best used for everyday cooking while the more expensive varieties, like fleur de sel, is recommended to be sprinkled on dishes right before serving.

The distinct pink tint of this halt makes it a pretty way to garnish your dark chocolate.
Photo by Pixabay

5 Pink Himalayan salt

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Pink Himalayan salt is a salt mined from Pakistan. Its pinkish tint is due to trace amounts of magnesium, potassium, and calcium. Though you can also use this salt for seasoning, just like fleur de sel, it's best sprinkled as a finishing touch before serving. Salts that are added last, for taste, look, and crunch, are called finishing salts.

6 Rock salt

Rock salt which you can buy at wet markets is mined from salt mines. It is not as salty and have bigger flecks. If you want a crunchy, natural, finishing salt but don't want to cash out, you can go for this.

How to get "salt flakes" for garnishing using local rock salt?

Place salt in a jar, tightly screw on a lid, and shake. This will allow the smaller granules to naturally find its way to the bottom of the jar. There will be larger flakes of salt on top which is perfect to use for garnishing.

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Next time you're at the grocery, you now know exactly the kind of salt you need!

Feature was published in the January/February 2012 issue of Yummy magazine. Edits have been made by the Yummy.ph editors.

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