Made from salt mined from the Dead Sea, Kosher salt has been used for centuries for curing and enhancing culinary tastes. Long loved by chefs for the amazing flavor, aroma and convenience of use, kosher salt is considered an essential ingredient which is used to add to a number of dishes to enhance their appeal and effectiveness. The kosher salt that you buy today will be very different than the salt you bought two or three years ago as our production methods and techniques have changed drastically. Today kosher salt is used in a vast range of cuisines from Russian and Italian to Moroccan and even Chinese. Used for enhancing the flavor of tomato based dishes, kosher salt enhances the flavor and appeal of these dishes and makes them more delicious.
In order to understand why kosher salt is used in this way it is important to first understand how kosher salt works. Salt crystals are formed naturally when minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, manganese and sodium chloride combine and make a unique compound with the unique composition of each mineral. The color of the crystal depends on the sodium chloride content of the crystals, which is green in nature. The manganese, potassium and iron add together producing a pinkish color while the calcium and magnesium produce white crystals.
As each salt crystal breaks down, it releases a unique flavor. This is largely dependent on the particular mineral makeup of the salt. If more sodium chloride is present than needed in the recipe the result is a salty flavor. For example, if you are using kosher salt for fish and meat recipes, you might find that the fish tends to have a salty taste. If you were to use regular table salt, the same fish would likely have a much stronger flavor.
It’s important to understand that kosher salt is not the same as table salt because of its coarse crystals. This does not mean that kosher salt will not have a flavor, just that coarse crystals are part of the salt’s makeup and come in different flavors. Some kosher salts have a traditional salt flavor while others have a flavor that is unique to only this type of salt. Some have a very strong flavor, but some have a flavor that is far less powerful than other types of seasoning. This is largely dependent upon where the kosher salt was made.
Kosher salt has an advantage over many other types of seasoning because the large amount of sodium chloride in kosher salt allows it to maintain its bulk while reducing the amount of moisture in the cooking process. This makes kosher salt ideal for using in anything from soups to glazed dough and everything in between. The cooking process also helps to lower the moisture level of the food so the salt won’t stick to the food. This also ensures that the flavors of the food stay intact instead of being diluted with water as occurs with other types of seasoning.
There are a few factors to keep in mind when shopping for kosher salt. First, know the differences between kosher salt and regular table salt. Table salt will generally contain a greater concentration of additives and minerals while kosher salt will be quite low in these kinds of ingredients. The kosher variety can also help meet dietary guidelines since kosher salt contains more mixtures of minerals that help to balance the diet. These include potassium and magnesium.
The final thing to note about kosher salt is that it can be very soft or very coarse. Each type of salt will have a particular density that affects how it feels in your hand. Most coarse grains will require that you use more pressure when using them during the cooking process. This is to ensure that the salt won’t be too slippery. Sea salt on the other hand will be more absorbent and it won’t be as hard as kosher salt.
Overall kosher salt is a great alternative that meets a lot of dietary needs in the cooking world. It is softer and more absorbent than regular table salt, which will work to your advantage when working with foods that don’t call for the use of additional moist absorption properties. Sea salt on the other hand is more absorbent than kosher salt but it still has its use when massaging muscles in preparing foods such as roasting meat. By learning how kosher salt works and how each salt type works it’s easy to see how this method of using salt to prepare food can help you prepare healthier meals without having to sacrifice the rich flavors that traditional cooking requires.