Salt

Salt
Most recipes that call for salt are referring to table salt, which has additives like iodine (to prevent a thyroid disease), and an anti-caking agent so the salt won't get lumpy in humid weather. Salt connoisseurs, though, often prefer to use Kosher salt for cooking, and sea salt for table use. They claim that both have a softer flavor than table salt. Exotic salts include the expensive French and Hawaiian sea salts, the smoky, sulfuric Indian black salt, and the intensely salty Korean bamboo salt. Specialized salts include pickling salt, which is free of the additives that turn pickles dark and the pickling liquid cloudy, and rock salt, used primarily to de-ice driveways and make ice cream.
bamboo salt, jook yeom, jukyom, parched salt
bamboo salt
This is made by roasting sea salt in bamboo cylinders plugged with yellow mud. The salt absorbs minerals from the bamboo and mud, which in turn leach the salt of impurities. Look for plastic bags of it in Korean markets.
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black salt, kala namak, sanchal
black salt
Look for this in Indian markets, either ground or in lumps. It's more tan than black, and has a very strong, sulfuric flavor.
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butter salt
This salt has extremely fine grains. It's used to salt butter.
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coarse salt, coarse-grain salt, coarsely-ground salt, gros sel
coarse salt
Most recipes calling for salt intend for you to use finely ground salt, though coarse salt is better for certain things, like making beds for oysters and salt crusts on meat or fish, or for lining baking dishes or the rims of margarita glasses. Many professional chefs like to cook with it because they can measure it more easily with their fingers. Kosher salt and sea salt often come coarsely ground.
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curing salt, Prague Powder #1, TCM, tinted curing mixture
curing salt
This is used to cure meats and fish. It's usually dyed pink so that it won't be mistaken for ordinary salt. It consists of 93.75% table salt and 6.25% sodium nitrate.
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fine salt, fin sel, fine-grain salt, finely-ground salt
fine salt
This is salt that's been ground into small grains. Most recipes calling for salt intend for you to use finely ground salt, though coarse salt is better for certain things, like making beds for oysters and salt crusts on meat or fish, or for lining baking dishes or the rims of margarita glasses. Table salt usually comes finely ground.
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French sea salt, sel marin
French sea salt
This expensive French salt comes from sea water that's pooled into basins and then evaporated. Unlike most American sea salts, it's unrefined, so it retains more of the minerals that naturally occur in seawater. There are several varieties. Gray salt = grey salt = sel gris gets its color from the clay lining the basins. La fleur de sel (the flower of the salt) is whiter, but has a similar flavor. That trendy gourmets are willing to shell out $5 for a small packet of French sea salt drives chemists crazy, since almost all of it is just plain salt, sodium chloride, NaCl. Salt aficionados counter that French sea salt has a much softer and fresher flavor than ordinary table salt, and that the difference is worth it. These salts comes either coarsely or finely ground. Since salt is an inorganic mineral, there's no point in grinding large crystals with a salt mill so they'll be "fresh." Salt, unlike pepper and spices, never goes stale. It's best to use these salts after the food is cooked, or their subtleties will be lost.
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Hawaiian salt, alaea salt, 'alaea sea salt, Hawaiian sea salt
Hawaiian salt
This unrefined sea salt gets its pinkish-brown color from Hawaiian clay, called 'alaea, which is rich in iron oxide. The clay also imparts a subtle flavor to the salt. The salt is expensive, and hard to find on the mainland.
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iodized salt
iodized salt
This is a variety of table salt. Iodized salt, which contains the flavorless additive potassium iodide to prevent goiter (an enlargement of the thyroid gland)
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kosher salt
kosher salt
This salt was developed for the preparation of kosher meats, but many cooks prefer it over table salt. It has coarser grains, so it's easier to use if you, like professional chefs, toss salt into pots with your fingers, measuring by touch. Most kosher salt is also flaked, giving each grain a larger surface area. This helps the salt adhere better, so it's great for lining margarita glasses, and for making a salt crust on meats or fish. Kosher salt also is preferred over table salt for canning and pickling. Like pickling salt, kosher salt is free of iodine, which can react adversely with certain foods. Some brands of kosher salt contain yellow prussiate of soda, an anti-caking agent, but unlike the anti-caking additive in table salt, it doesn't cloud pickling liquids. The only drawback to using kosher salt for pickling or canning is that the grains are coarser and flakier, and can't be packed as tightly into a measuring cup as pickling salt. This raises the risk that the salt won't be properly measured. To get around this problem, measure by weight instead of volume. With its large grains, kosher salt isn't a good choice for baking. Look for boxes of it in the spice section of your supermarket.
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Margarita salt
Margarita salt
This is used to salt the rims of Margarita glasses. To apply, fill a saucer with the salt, then moisten the rim of an empty glass with lime juice and dip it into the saucer.
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non-iodized salt
non-iodized salt
This is a variety of table salt. Some recipes call for non-iodized salt, since iodine can impart a bitter taste and adversely react with certain foods. For example, iodine darkens pickles and inhibits the bacterial fermentation needed to make sauerkraut.
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pickling salt, canning and pickling salt, canning salt
pickling salt
This is similar to table salt, but lacks the iodine and anti-caking additives that turn pickles dark and the pickling liquid cloudy. Pickles made with table salt would still be good to eat, but they wouldn't look as appetizing. Pickling salt is available in large bags or boxes in supermarkets, but it's hard to find in cities. In addition to pickling or canning with it, you can also use pickling salt just as you would ordinary table salt, though without the anti-caking agents it may get lumpy if exposed to moisture. To prevent lumps, put a few grains of rice in your salt shaker. To get rid of lumps, spread the salt on a cookie sheet and bake in an oven. Don't substitute reduced-sodium salt for pickling salt when making pickles.
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popcorn salt
This table salt has very fine grains, which adhere better to popcorn, potato chips, and French fries.
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pretzel salt
pretzel salt
These opaque salt crystals are used to coat pretzels
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rock salt, halite, ice cream salt, land salt, sidewalk salt
rock salt
This is the cheap, non-food grade salt that we throw onto icy walkways and use to make ice cream. It doesn't actually go into the ice cream, as some have learned the hard way, but rather into the wooden ice-filled tub that surrounds the bucket of ice cream. The salt lowers the freezing point of the ice, which causes it to melt. As it melts, it absorbs heat from the ice cream, helping it to freeze more quickly. Use a ratio of one part rock salt for every five parts of ice. If you're out of rock salt, other kinds of salt will also work, though you should use less since finer grains of salt can can be packed more densely into a cup than large chunks of rock salt. The biggest danger is that you'll use too much salt, which will make your ice cream freeze too fast and become crusty. When using salt other than rock salt, start with a modest amount and check the ice cream after you've churned it for ten minutes. If the ice cream is just beginning to firm up, you have the right amount of salt. If it's not yet firming up, you need to add more salt. If it's crusty along the sides of the bucket, then you've added too much salt.
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Salt, sodium chloride
Salt
Most recipes that call for salt are referring to table salt, which has additives like iodine (to prevent a thyroid disease), and an anti-caking agent so the salt won't get lumpy in humid weather. Salt connoisseurs, though, often prefer to use Kosher salt for cooking, and sea salt for table use. They claim that both have a softer flavor than table salt. Exotic salts include the expensive French and Hawaiian sea salts, the smoky, sulfuric Indian black salt, and the intensely salty Korean bamboo salt. Specialized salts include pickling salt, which is free of the additives that turn pickles dark and the pickling liquid cloudy, and rock salt, used primarily to de-ice driveways and make ice cream. Tips: Adding salt to water will raise the temperature at which it boils and lower the temperature at which it freezes. Though we need some salt in our diet, most Americans consume much more than necessary. Too much salt can lead to high blood pressure. Salt is a terrific flavor enhancer, helping to reduce bitterness and acidity, and bringing out other flavors in the food. Adding salt to bread dough controls the action of the yeast and improves the flavor. Bread made without salt will have a coarser texture and a blander flavor than bread made with salt. Try sprinkling salt on citrus fruit, melons, tomatoes, and even wine to enhance flavor. Adding a little salt balances the flavor of sweets like cakes, cookies, and candies. Boiling eggs in salted water makes them easier to peel. Adding a pinch of salt (preferably non-iodized) to cream or egg whites before they're whipped increases their volume and serves as a stabilizer. Salt is a mineral, so it can be stored indefinitely without going stale. It won't taste any fresher if you grind it with a salt mill. Salt has been used for millennia as a preservative for meats, fish, cheese, and other foods. It works by absorbing moisture from the cells of bacteria and mold through osmosis, which kills them or leaves them unable to reproduce. Salting slices of eggplants helps draw out the bitter juices. Sprinkling salt on meat before broiling or grilling it draws moisture from the center, making it browner on the outside, but less juicy on the inside.
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salt substitute
Some salt substitutes are herbal blends, which enhance the flavor of food without salt. You can buy these in the spice section of your supermarket or make your own--the Internet abounds with recipes for homemade salt substitutes. Other commercial salt substitutes, like No Salt®, Salt Substitute®, Cardia®, and Lite Salt®, replace some or all of the sodium chloride (ordinary salt) with potassium chloride, which has a slightly bitter taste. These substitutes are sometimes recommended for people on sodium-restricted diets. It's recommended that you consult a physician before using these products, especially if you have diabetes or kidney disease, or if you're taking diuretics or potassium supplements, or if you're on a potassium restricted diet. Look for them in the spice section of your supermarket, or in pharmacies.
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sea salt, bay salt
sea salt
This salt comes from evaporated sea water, and contains minute amounts of magnesium, calcium, and other minerals. Since the government requires that salt sold for table use in the United States contain at least 97.5% pure salt, these minerals don't amount to much, though some pricey French sea salts have higher concentrations. While tossing a teaspoon of sea salt into a half gallon of marinara sauce isn't going to have an appreciable effect on its nutritional value, some gourmets say that they can taste the difference and that sea salt has a cleaner, saltier flavor compared to table salt. Don't use sea salt for canning or pickling--the trace minerals may discolor the food. It's also not the best choice for baking--the grains are too large.
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table salt, cooking salt, granular salt
table salt
Varieties include iodized salt, which contains the flavorless additive potassium iodide to prevent goiter (an enlargement of the thyroid gland), and non-iodized salt. Some recipes call for non-iodized salt, since iodine can impart a bitter taste and adversely react with certain foods. For example, iodine darkens pickles and inhibits the bacterial fermentation needed to make sauerkraut. Table salt also contains small amounts of calcium silicate, an anti-caking agent, and dextrose, a stabilizer. The anti-caking agent in both iodized and non-iodized salt doesn't dissolve in water, so if you pickle or can with it, it will turn the liquid cloudy or else settle on the bottom of the jar. The preserved food will taste the same, mind you, but it won't look as appealing. This is more of a problem for pickles, which are immersed in lots of liquid, than for other canned goods. To prevent the cloudiness, use pickling salt, which contains no additives.
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