Much of this information was taken from jessicagavin.com.
Salt is the most essential and versatile product to have in your pantry.
No matter where the variety of salt is sourced from, it is made of sodium chloride and shaped like a cube in crystal form.
Among the different types of salt, measuring the same amount of volume does not always give the same salt content. For example, you would need twice the amount of kosher salt to have the same sodium level as table salt. Also, the salt content can vary between brands. The best thing to do is start off with less when you’re seasoning, then build up until you reach the desired level.
This is the “if it rains, it pours” salt which means it includes anti-caking agents to make it easy to pour. Iodized means iodine has been added, a catch-all to prevent iodine deficiency, however, it imparts a slightly chemical flavor.
Taste: A clean salt taste that dissolves quickly. Iodized salt has a slightly chemical aftertaste.
Best Used For: Cooking and baking.
Flakier and coarser than table salt, its larger shape comes from raking during evaporation. The name is such not because it’s actually kosher, but because it’s used during the koshering meat process. Typically contains no additives but check labels. Particle size and salt amounts vary between brands so adjustments should be made.
Note that, 1 teaspoon table salt = 1 1/2 teaspoon Morton kosher salt = 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt.
Taste: A clean flavor that takes longer to dissolve.
Best Used For: Salting meats because it clings well to the surface and is easy to distribute. Sprinkle on roasted vegetables and general seasoning at the end of cooking for a pop of texture and flavor.
Sea salt is evaporated from salt water, so it’s generally coarse, irregularly shaped, unrefined and can vary in color. Since it’s minimally processed, it has other trace minerals like calcium, magnesium, and copper, giving it a more complex flavor profile. There is a range of pricing depending on how expensive the process and quality.
Taste: Similar to table salt with some complex mineral notes.
Best Used For: More affordable versions for salting meats, seafood, and vegetables. It has a more crunchy texture.
Himalayan Pink Salt - The purest form of salt in the world harvested in the Himalayan Mountains of Pakistan. It has distinct a salmon-colored hue and very large irregularly shaped particles. It’s rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, and iron. High heat tolerance since it’s dried at 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. Often used from a health perspective to create electrolyte balance and increase hydration in the body among other benefits.
Taste: High mineral flavor with complex notes.
Best Used For: Seasoning meats, soups, salads, vegetables. May need to add the salt crystals to a grinder or buy the finer size, use small amounts and gradually add more as needed.
Celtic Sea Salt - Known as grey salt or sel gris, in French, Celtic sea salt is harvested from tidal pools in France. The salt is whole raw crystals filled with minerals like magnesium, calcium and potassium, and an alkaline pH that helps with sodium assimilation in the body.
Taste: It has a briny mineral taste and a chunky texture.
Best Used For: Seasoning meats and fish, pickling, add to a grinder.
Fleur de sel - Harvested from French tidal pools, but in the far northeast of the country, in Brittany. This is a specialty, paper-thin salt that’s delicately taken from the surface of the water from a short-lived crystallization period. It has a blue-grey tinge and retains moisture well.
Taste: Light briny flavor, delicate and crunchy texture.
Best Used For: A good finishing salt for candy, vegetables, meat, seafood, grilled foods, salads, and baked goods.
Flake Sea Salt - Flake sea salt is hand-harvested from saltwater and is irregularly shaped, often with unique large flat, square crystals that are beautiful in appearance. Low in mineral content.
Taste: Clean but intense salt flavor, with a soft, crunchy texture.
Best Used For: A finishing salt to add texture and enhance the flavors of food. Often used in baking and confectionery for garnishing sweets.
HOW TO USE SALT
Contamination: When working with raw meat, add a small amount of salt to a separate bowl so that the container of salt does not get contaminated. Keep covered when not in use to prevent moisture pick up.
Amounts: Recipes provide a starting amount, usually leaving some room for adding more salt to taste. Cooking and baking salts typically use table salt, kosher salt or sea salt. Try to follow direction guidelines for type, however, make adjustments for quantity if you modify. It’s better to start with less because more can always be added.
Applying: When adding salt to food before cooking, it’s best to sprinkle it on at about 12-inches above the ingredient. This technique helps to evenly distribute the salt and prevent pockets that become over salted.
In small amounts, most salts have the same impact and don’t need to be converted between recipes. However, there is a conversion chart at https://www.mortonsalt.com/article/salt-conversion-chart/
A great way to preserve herbs is by making herbal culinary salts. I prefer using sea salt for these – any kind of sea salt will do.
You can use any herb or combination of herbs. You can add garlic, red pepper flakes, citrus rinds, and other spices to make a blend.
You can dry your herbs ahead of time or mix the fresh with your salt and dry before bottling. Your choice.
This is what we will make today.
Garlic Rosemary & Sage Herb Salt
1 cup coarse sea salt
6 sprigs rosemary
6 sage leaves
3-5 cloves of garlic
Remove stems and sticks from the herbs and any hard pieces from the garlic.
Roughly chop the herbs and garlic, adding 1 TBSP of salt as your work your knife through the mixture. Repeat three times.
Transfer the herbs and salt to a small food processor and pulse for a finer chop.
Add the processed salt to the untouched salt to combine evenly.
Spread the salt to dry on parchment for the better part of a day in a dry room.
You may put this in the oven to accelerate the drying process at the lowest setting your oven has (below 200) for about 20 minutes.
If you use dried herbs for this recipe, use less because they are more potent.