Salt is the most widely used seasoning in the world. It
intensifies, brightens, heightens and improves the taste of
every dish it is added to. Although once a valuable commodity,
salt is now widely available and very affordable.
Most salt is ground from rock
salt. Rock salt is obtained by pumping water into dried
up sea caves and collecting the brine that is pushed up to
the surface. This brine is boiled and then eventually crystallizes
into chunky rock salt. Rock salt can be used in ice cream
making or as a base to serve oysters over, but is most often
ground down into kitchen salt
(fairly coarse) or table salt
(finely textured). Iodized salt
is simply table salt with iodine added (to help prevent
Salt can also be produced by allowing sea water to evaporate.
Sea salt, or bay salt,
is more costly than other salts, but some find it to have
a better flavor.
Kosher salt is a coarser,
additive-free salt. Like sea salt it is preferred by some
for it's taste, but is also used by some in accordance with
Jewish law. Like Kosher, pickling
salt is also additive-free and is used for making pickles.
The lack of additives is to prevent the pickle brine from
Black salt, which is
actually grayish-pink when ground, is smokier than regular
salt and is often found in Indian cooking.
No matter what your preference, keep salt in an airtight
container in a cool, dry place. Do not allow salt to remain
in long term contact with silver (shakers or spoons) as it
will turn green. A few rice grains in your salt shaker will
help prevent your salt from becoming damp if exposed to humidity.