Kosher salt has no fluorescent pink or yellow color and is often referred to as sea salt. Sea salt is produced by evaporating sea water and typically includes no additives. Most manufacturers sprinkle sea salt liberally over pretzels and chips and even throw in an unsubstantiated claim on the back of the container. And still, like table salt, coarse kosher salt is often mined from gypsum mines but not always contains additives.
It is the brine used in the production of sea salt that is most often contaminated with bacteria. Mined brine is frequently harvested from the sea beds of the Black Sea and Mediterranean sea basins. The brine is harvested by squeezing the sea salt into underground cavities and then transported to different places for harvesting. While table salt comes directly out of the earth and not harvested via the brine process, the kosher variety is harvested from gypsum mines in Israel and is then processed much differently than the red or blue table salts.
kosher salt contains three major ingredients: Methylsulfonylmethane, or MBS, which is derived from sea salts; Dimethylsulfoxide, or DMS, which is derived from sugar cane; and Chlorine dioxide, which is commonly added to salt in the production of powdered salt. Kosher salt is also often called “bleached salt” since it experiences a gradual yellowing over time due to exposure to oxygen. The result is a salt with a moderately bright red color and a fine texture. This type of salt can be sprinkled on or mixed in with food to add flavor and moisture.
While there is some controversy surrounding the use of kosher salt as a seasoning or even a preservative, it has gained a reputation as a fine alternative to regular table salt. It’s been used in restaurants and homes as a popular preservative, especially for sea foods like Herring roe. It’s also a favored choice for people who prefer kosher salt over regular table salt because it’s less likely to trigger allergic reactions in those who are sensitive to traditional salts. While kosher salt may not be recognized as authentic kosher, it does have the benefit of being produced on a kosher salt farm and following strict rules regarding all of the ingredients.
Most kosher salt tends to come in a light, almost silvery grayish color, which has been credited to the bleaching process used to help increase the purity of the salt. When buying kosher salt, you can be assured that it will have been produced following the highest Jewish standards, so you know that you’re getting salt that has been prepared with the highest degree of care. It may take a little longer to make, but the end result will certainly be worth the wait. Kosher salt tends to have a slightly salty taste, but you can neutralize that by adding a little food coloring or a touch of lemon juice to bring out the flavor more.
There are two general kinds of kosher salt. One is table salt, which is generally recognized as the common variety most people know and love. The other is sea salt, which is salt designed especially for use in sea food. Although both kosher salt and sea salts have their uses, there is generally less sodium in sea salts than in table salt. This makes sea salts ideal for using in recipes where you want to add less sodium, like sea salads and other lighter dishes.
Some varieties of kosher salt are naturally organic, which means they contain no additives and do not change in color or texture as they age. In this respect, they are similar to kaolin clay, which is commonly found in making soap and other types of skin treatments. Kaolin is softer than rock salt, but has the same texture and aesthetic sense. Rock salt tends to have a grayish-white color, while kosher is shiny and has a coarse grain. Both varieties can be used in baking, cooking, and seasoning foods with a special coating to increase their taste.
Kosher salts are made without any additives and do not change in texture or color when exposed to light or air. They come in three basic grades: kosher diamonds, kosher grains, and kosher mezzanines. All three grades have different textures and mineral concentrations, which means they are used in slightly different ways in recipes.