Sea salts are a natural occurrence in the world that has been used by man for many years. Natural table salts have been used as an essential component of dishes throughout the world for centuries. Indian and Asian cuisine relies heavily on the use of sea salt in its preparation. Today, this staple ingredient is used extensively in many types of cuisines all around the world as a flavoring agent, an ingredient to add color to sauces, or coarse sea salt that is used to add texture to the batter.
Himalayan salt is sea salt extracted from healing rocks of the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains in India. This type of rock is very abundant and is a crucial part of the country's economy. As a result of their large quantities, they are expensive and still relatively unknown outside of the culinary world. Yet, the unique flavor they bring to certain foods cannot be replicated with any type of table salt. Himalayan sea salts retain a fine balance of magnesium, sodium, calcium, and potassium while having a texture that is somewhat waxier than coarse table salt.
Although Himalayan salt has health benefits of its own, it has recently been recognized as one of the world's best natural sources of trace minerals. It has been linked to the healing of various diseases, including diabetes and heart disease, as well as improved vitality, increased immunity against infectious diseases, and improved circulation of blood. Moreover, Himalayan salts have been found to be rich in zinc, manganese, and potassium.
These trace minerals enhance flavor, but adding them to a recipe calls for them to be processed in a certain manner so as not to release their minerals. Fortunately, manufacturers have learned how to circumvent this hindrance by utilizing what is called a minimal processing method when creating products that use sea salts. A minimum processing method can remove all of the harmful substances from sea salts while leaving the valuable trace minerals intact.
One example of a minimally processed sea salt variety is the Himalayan Pearl Flake. Made by grinding up the seawater trimmings, then conditioning the powder using special solvents, and then straining the mixture into flakes, this product is excellent in retaining trace minerals. At the same time, it does not lose most of its mineral content. In fact, it often comes equipped with a calcium and magnesium coating so that it can better withstand pressure in baking or other forms of cooking.
The majority of manufacturers who use sea salts as ingredients tend to use what is known as ionic brine, which is essentially a complex mixture of calcium and bromine salts. Because of the way ionic brine is made, it is considered to be quite a superior product to sea salt mixtures that come straight out of the sea. However, it is important to note that ionic brine tends to retain much more trace minerals than other brine choices. This includes magnesium, copper, and zinc. These trace minerals are essential for maintaining health and for fighting disease.
Another form of sea salt is the rock salt that is formed from calcium and other rock salts. Although it will come in many different textures from coarse to more slippery, it is essentially neutral in its chemical makeup. It is mixed with water before its manufacture and further processed to improve the quality of the salt. Rock salt deposits can range from extremely old to extremely fresh, there is no known limit on the chemical composition of these salts. This means that people can expect to find a wide array of textures and effects when shopping for this type of salt.
It should be noted that sea salts have nothing to do with sodium chloride. While both can be used successfully in baking, they have different properties and will not have the same effects on one another. Also, when using sea salts you are not adding any extra chemicals to your food or to your body, so the risk of absorbing irritating chemicals is eliminated. Therefore, sea salts are an excellent alternative to table salt and similar products.