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Thank you, Sara, for such an interesting and informative article. I had no idea that some varieties were even a thing. You’ve inspired me to try some of these!
Thank You, Sara! This article was: Fabulous-Informative- Helpful!
What I would like to know is …
Does one salt have less sodium than the other.
I have heard that Himalayan Salt has less sodium than table salt.
Charlie, this is a great question! Generally speaking, if there’s a difference in sodium content between salts, it would be negligible. Any difference would be accountable to the presence of other minerals (such as potassium and iron in Himalayan pink salt). I do think cooks are less likely to overuse/overseason with fancy salts, especially if you use them as a finishing salt. In that case, using less would give you less net sodium in your meals. Make sense? The latter half of this reply is not scientific, by the way–just a hunch of mine.
Obviously you have not heard of GoodSalt! It’s found on Amazon.com and gotten excellent reviews.
Indeed, this article did not address salt substitutes or amended salts, because that would make it a totally different article–and too long! GoodSalt replaces sodium with other minerals, thus lowering the sodium content. I’ve not tried it, or other similar products.
I have been using a local sea salt from Netarts, Oregon … Jacobsen Salt Co. My parents gifted me a tiny tin of it once and I was SMITTEN from the first taste. I’ve bought it by the pound for YEARS now (it was only $6/lb!! No lie!). I have my parents buy it up in Portland and drive it down to me. :-) Or I get it on their website. Fortunately for Jacobsen, unfortunately for me, they’ve been growing in popularity exponentially like every single MINUTE which means their salt is often sold out or hard to find. And the price just went up like 50% or so. I’m switching back to the sea salt my co-op grocery carries in bulk, but my heart will always be with Jacobsen. The umami was incomparable and they are very local. Sad to not use their salt anymore…..
Mary, you can always use your favorite salt (Jacobsen, in this case–Oregon, woot woot!) for very special occasions. Also you can drop the hint to your loved ones that it makes a great gift. The pleasure of using salt you love is worth it, even if that means you do it infrequently.
What a lovely and informative article! I have a question? What about those adorable salt pigs next to the stove we see tv home chefs stabbing their fingers in to grab a pinch on the fly? I see chefs chop something, scoop it up with their hands, throw it in, wipe their fingers on an apron, do a quick stir, grab a pinch of salt… and I can’t imagine their fingers were all the way clean or even all the way dry. Does salt in that situation hold up to that kind of contamination?
Salt pigs and other open salt crocks are very handy for seasoning-as-you-go. The salt in them is only as clean as the hands going into them. Good cooks and chefs wash their hands constantly. Also, if I’m seasoning raw meat or seafood, I make a point of putting a little salt in a new little dish or bowl, seasoning the meat, and then tossing out the remaining salt and washing the dish. This guards against cross-contamination. Athena, this is an excellent point and I’m glad you asked.
Thanks for this informative article. I’m curious about iodine. Until kosher salt got to be trendy, I always used plain old Morton (iodized) for pretty much everything. I still use it for salting pasta water or for brines, where it’s going to dissolve. For other cooking, baking, and table use, I use kosher salt. So, my question is whether I need to be worried about not getting enough iodine in my diet. Does a “normal” diet typically provide enough iodine so I don’t have to be concerned about having given up iodized salt? Thanks.
Karlette, I’d wager a guess you’re okay on the iodine front. Iodine is added to salt because it’s handy–everyone uses salt. Iodine comes from other sources, and certain regions of the country (like the Great Lakes) have ground water that’s lower in levels than other regions. If you are very concerned, see a dietitian or your PCP, but if you are using iodized and kosher, you probably get enough from the iodized salt you do use to be in the clear.
One thing that was not covered in this article is a new trend to label things as non-GMO. Some salt companies are failing for this gimmick as are consumers. There are no genes in salt, so it is impossible to modify any genes. It is misleading and deceptive.
Right up there with gluten-free salt.
“It is misleading and deceptive.” And Annoying!
Ha! Yes, companies will capitalize on any health trend they can. Thank you for reminding me salt has no genes. Gave me a good laugh.