The Kosher Salt 101
Kosher salt has a variety of names depending on which region of the world you're from, and it's available all over the world. However, it is most commonly known in America, and is usually used for cooking. Kosher sea salt is coarse kosher salt without common commercial additives like iodine. Usually used in the kitchen and not on the table, it often consists of only sodium chloride, sometimes containing no other stabilizers.
Most kosher salt recipes call for kosher salt, and you should never purchase any type of salt that claims to be a 'kosher' salt or even contains the word 'kosher'. Some commercial salts are cheaper because they add iodine, a key nutrient that's required by the body. Iodine is important for maintaining a healthy thyroid gland and for regulating the level of calcium in the blood. Other nutrients are also affected, including magnesium, potassium and chloride. Each of these minerals is important for good health, and each of them is deficient in people who don't eat enough regular food.
Traditional kosher salt recipes usually require brining the meat, poultry or fish in water that has had no additives added. The water is brought to a boil and the salt dissolved in it is then allowed to cool, sometimes overnight. The next morning the meat is washed, dried and seasoned before being shipped off. If it's a vegetarian meal, you might also want to soak the fruits in some neutral, pH balanced, so the acidity level is not affected. Once you have your training solution ready, you can start cooking.
The traditional textural taste of kosher salt (and probably all salts) is a coarse, white and greyish colour. This is one of the flavours that gives the food its unique flavour, and is a definite 'killer' when it comes to appetizer preparation. You can minimize the effect of this flavour by adding other ingredients to the cooking water such as rice or pasta. This will enhance the flavour, but still leave the original texture and characteristic.
There are many types of training solutions available to help improve the texture, but the most common among kosher sea salt briners is a combination of sodium bicarbonate and aluminium hydrochloride. Sodium bicarbonate, also known as baking soda, is an inexpensive and easily obtainable component in the US market. Aluminium hydrochloride is the most commonly used type of additive. Both of these substances combine to form a sodium-bicarbonate suspension that makes the brine more effective at binding materials together, thereby improving the texture.
There are several types of coarse salts that can be used to give kosher salt a better texture. One of these is sea salt, which is also used in cooking to bring out its flavour. It also helps the food to retain its moisture better than other types of coarse salts. Sea salt also has an array of health benefits. It contains calcium and magnesium, which are important for maintaining good health.
When looking at buying kosher salt, you may want to consider buying sea salt. Sea salt is often recommended as a table salt alternative because it contains more minerals that are good for your body than regular table salt. It is even known to have some medicinal benefits. The benefit may be in the presence of iodine, a mineral found in more than 80% of seawater. Iodine may change the body's hormone levels, so taking sea salt on a regular basis may change a person's susceptibility to thyroid disorders or hyperthyroidism.
Regular table salt is probably the safest bet when it comes to choosing kosher salt. Kosher salt is also very versatile. It comes in different colours, from light orange to dark grey. Kosher salt can be used to season any type of food, whether it is for consumption or to be sprinkled on top of food. For anyone who enjoys eating and cooking at home, kosher salt should be a staple of their kitchen pantry.