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A Guide to Salt, the World’s Most Popular Food

https://www.seriouseats.com/2019/09/guide-to-salt.html

seriouseats.com

A Guide to Salt, the World’s Most Popular Food
Everything you need to know about the vast and varied world of edible salt, including the differences between all the types of salt you'll see on the market.

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Salt: The Flavour Potentiator

Salt: The Flavour Potentiator

One of the oldest foods in the world, salt is not as much a flavour in itself as it is an enhancer, bringing out the flavors in all kinds of foods. It makes noodles, watermelon, meat, and all other kinds of food taste richer and generally better.

Humans crave salt as it has the chemicals we need to survive in the ionic compound composed of sodium and chlorine.

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All About Salt

Salt is harvested from ocean water, and now increasingly from salt mines, like the Himalayan Pink Salt mine called Khewra in Pakistan. Salt is mined much like coal, with explosives and excavations.

All salt is essentially sodium chloride, and it originates from the oceans and seas, even when it is harvested from caves. Salt is a mineral and if no anti-caking agents are added to it, is sometimes labeled as organic, which is not accurate as it isn’t an organically grown substance.

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Sea Salt

Drying the ocean or sea water is a universal way of extracting sea salt, though the french method of retaining some moisture gives it a softer consistency.

Sea salt is also harvested from ponds and is generally from the bottom depths known as oeillets. The french method prefers harvesting from the surface, with some variants having larger crystals.

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Hawaiian Salt

A dried variant of sea-salt, hawaiian salt is dried using lava beds, giving it a brick-like (red Hawaiian salt) or darker (black Hawaiian Salt) color.

Charcoal is also added to normal sea salt to produce the same effect, and a similar color does not guarantee a similar process of extraction.

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Table Salt

The standard cubic crystal salt is known as table salt, with the small and even crystals making it flow from the container easily.

This popular salt may have added anti-caking agents like silicon dioxide or dextrose so that the salt is not clumpy. Iodine is generally added to table salt, and according to medical science, is an important nutrient.

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Kosher Salt

A non-iodine salt, Kosher salt is of a larger and fluffier shape, which makes it stick to the food it is sprinkled on and detonate it’s flavour. The large crystals of this salt are used to ‘kosher’ meat according to Jewish laws, hence the name.

Many varieties of kosher salt contain a bit of anti-caking agents like yellow prussiate soda, or sodium ferrocyanide (I would skip that!)

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Himalayan Pink Salt

This salt is mined from Pakistan and is pinkish in color, and is marketed in an exotic manner, adding to its appeal. The natural pink color glows, and all other properties remain the same as sea-salt.

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Different Kinds Of Salt

  • Flake Salt: Pyramid-shaped crystals make this salt brittle and crunchy.
  • Slab Salt: Slabs of Himalayan pink salt are used to serve food, as they retain the heat well. These salt trays are usually the mined slabs of pink salt.
  • Rock Salt: This salt has uses in ice-cream making and in retaining dry ice, due to its rocky, chunky shape. It is also used to melt ice on the roads.
  • Pickling Salt: A fine salt with smaller crystals, this variety is free from anti-caking agents and iodine.
  • Kala Namak: Also known as black salt, this indian variety of salt has traces of copper and caramel, and tastes a bit like overcooked boiled eggs, or even rotten eggs.
  • Infused/Seasoned Salts: Various smoked and seasoned salts are in the market providing infusions, flavours and colors like saffron, garlic, vanilla, various kinds of herbs. They are able to blend well, as salt is a preservative in itself.

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No Special Powers

No Special Powers

While most food fads are due to them having a particular quality, like health benefits, this hasn't been the case with Pink Salt.

The sudden rise of Pink Salt has nothing to do with the we...

Aesthetically Pleasing Pink

As a lesson for marketers, the popularity of pink salt has been due to various dynamics in food, media, and health.

Pink salt might be pretty, but it wouldn’t have reached its current popularity without a significant boost from trendy notions of wellness. Some point out the pink color, which makes it attractive to consumers.

"We’ve been told we’re not supposed to eat salt, but we need to, and we’re biologically compelled to, and flavor doesn’t work without it. So we had to find some way to understand this tension between the existential terror of eating it and the physiological reality of needing it. What we did was we said, ‘Uh, natural salt, pink salt, whatever—that’s safe.’”

"We’ve been told we’re not supposed to eat salt, but we need to, and we’re biologically compelled to, and flavor doesn’t work without it. So we had to find some way to understand this tension between the existential terror of eating it and the physiological reality of needing it. What we did was we said, ‘Uh, natural salt, pink salt, whatever—that’s safe.’”

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Intermittent Fasting (IF)

Intermittent Fasting (IF)

The dietary practice of restricting your food consumption to a specific window of time. It is used as a supplement to your diet.
In this fasting state, our bodies can break down extra fat...

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Autophagy definition and benefits

The process by which the cell devours itself.

  • Non-essential parts like damaged proteins are recycled and invading microorganisms and toxic compounds are removed. 
  • Autophagy plays an important role in stopping the aging process, reversing disease, and preventing cancer, but it doesn’t happen all the time. 
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Oreos: The best-selling cookies in the world

Oreos: The best-selling cookies in the world

Oreos have been around since 1912. They are the best-selling cookies in the world and sold in over 100 countries.

When they were introduced in 1912, they were known as Oreo...

Oreo was not an original concept

Food scientist Sam J. Porcello invented the newer version of the Oreo. He was one of the world's foremost experts on cocoa and helped develop the extra indulgent chocolate and white chocolate-covered Oreo.

The original recipe for Oreo cookies contained lard (pork fat). With the changing climate of the low-fat 1990s, the lard was replaced, and the cookie became kosher and unexpectedly also vegan.

Unusual Oreos

  • In 1984, The Oreo Big Stuf was launched. Individually wrapped, the snack was a massive 316 calories (a single Oreo contains about 53 calories) and took around 20 minutes to eat.
  • Oreo cookies are also used in pie crusts, churros, and ice cream cones.
  • In January 2017, Virginia-based The Veil Brewing Company released a version of their chocolate milk stout infused with real Oreo cookies. It was sold out within a week.
  • Game of Thrones Oreo: One winter, a special edition Oreos came out embossed with the crests of the four remaining (at the time) houses. The cookie company went to the production company that made the main titles for GoT Elastic. The Oreo-meets-GoT universe took about 2,750 computer-generated Oreos with 20 million crumbs scattered throughout the Oreo-scape.