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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Why "Sea salt"?

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mike gregory - Posted - 08/08/2022:  12:52:48

Can't help but notice that SOME of the SAME people who will moan and groan about how poisonously toxic the world's oceans have become, due to modern times' pollution, will ALSO pay a bit extra for "SEA salt", from those same oceans, rather than trust salt which has been sitting underground for millions of years

steve davis - Posted - 08/08/2022:  13:45:22

I trust scientific assessments of our environs much more than "some people's."
I suppose there are more complex minerals in sea salt.I've swallowed a few quarts of the stuff over my 70 years.
Still treading water.

5B-Ranch - Posted - 08/08/2022:  14:05:37

Depends on the sea from which it came. Not all seas are as polluted.

banjo bill-e - Posted - 08/08/2022:  14:08:26

I always figured it all came from the sea, including dried up seas from millions of years ago. But we do have a resident salt expert here, or at least a knowledgeable hobbyist, who hopefully will soon educate us, and I do find it interesting.

chuckv97 - Posted - 08/08/2022:  14:09:11

I eat Himalayan pink salt,,, I’m a high pinko

Brian T - Posted - 08/08/2022:  15:34:11

I collect salt from all over the world. A lot of it is evaporated marine salt, some of it is mined from land deposits. Sifto has a Solution mine in western Canada. They pump boiling water into the mine and recover the salt water to evaporate in large shallow ponds. I wonder how they cope with -40 in the winters. Much of the road salt used in western North America is the evaporate from huge salt ponds in San Francisco Bay.

Usually available in packages of 2-4 oz. A few companies have 1 kilogram (2.2 lbs) packages( eg Maldon). Aside from different colors and different crystal shapes, I'm surprised by the different tastes. Don't think I have more than 60 of them. Eastern vs western Mediterranean, for examples. They're just 'different.'
I got one from India that smells and tastes of rotten egg hydrogen sulfide. Enough to gag a maggot.

I like to cook some meats with the heavily smoked Matiz Mediterranean salt from Spain. It's almost greasy. Black volcanic salt from Iceland has to be the "saltiest" salt that I have found. Must be different impurities. Polish mine salt would be right up there, too.

Salt is the only edible that I can think of for which no country has a requirement for a label of contents. Probably 1/2 the Periodic Table. There are several so-called season salts in North America. So much sugar, they had to put it on the label in fine print.

Buddur - Posted - 08/08/2022:  18:37:40

I prefer my sea salt... dark chocolate. Yum.

Bill Rogers - Posted - 08/08/2022:  19:36:12

Back in the 1960s the Leslie Salt Co. of SFO, had great salt-evaporating ponds on the Bay mudflats at the east end of the old Dumbarton bridge. They diked off the ponds, let the water evaporate and harvested the salt. So a lot of the Leslie salt on store shelves was sea salt. Nothing was made of it. Now sea salt is a cult commodity. I’ve seen how it’s harvested. I don’t get it. By the time it’s cleaned and sized, who cares where it came from? Except the sellers, who have a good thing going.

Brian T - Posted - 08/08/2022:  20:01:37

I like the big salt crystals that get bashed off a bag of little pretzels.
You get that right at the end of the bag! Requires a dark rum and cola.

Mostly, DIY. 4-5 tbsp pickling or marine salt with the zest from a lemon or the zest from 2 limes. Seal that in a jar and shake weekly for a month. Nice with anything fishy. I made some mushroom salt. Bland.

donc - Posted - 08/08/2022:  20:19:26

Marketing is a clever tool. Salt itself is rather boring stuff. We throw it on the road during winter and nobody picks it up afterwards. The ocean is full of adventure and discovery therefore sea salt is for those in search of adventure and discovery. Rock salt is for those who have happy childhood memories of collecting colourful rocks. . NaCl [sodium chloride] cannot be seen as exciting because we learned that formula in junior high school chemistry. Remove the NaCl from any of those forms of salt and you have a handful of mostly nothing.

bubbalouie - Posted - 08/08/2022:  20:30:04

I hear where you're coming from Mike! My wife takes krill pills. I call them micro plastic pills! Why wouldn't they be full of it if they're just sieved out of the sea? 

I eat sardines at least 3 times a week. Look it up! they are good for you. One thing about them is they are small, they don't pick up as many contaminants. They don't spend as long in the water. 

Brian T - Posted - 08/08/2022:  21:03:12

Tell us all what the % of sodium chloride is in sea salt. You can't. Nobody has to list it.
Humans need quite a variety of elements in very small quantities.
Stuff like Iodine, Copper, Iron, Cobalt and Zinc. I judge that these are the kinds of things found with variation as trace elements in "sea salt" from various locations.

You will find another 'salt', potassium chloride (KCl), in sea salt as well. The Potassium is essential for proper heart rhythm. KCl is a common additive in quality club soda water such as Schweppes and Canada Dry. Plain soda water is just that = carbon dioxide in water. Blah.

phb - Posted - 08/09/2022:  01:24:20

I agree about the "sea salt" hype. Well, somebody has to eat all that microplastic out there. What I also don't get is the idea to put big salt crystals into pepper mills to grind them freshly over your food. As if minerals get worse and lose their aroma from just being there. We used to put a few grains of dry rice into the salt shakers to keep the salt dry.

Buddur - Posted - 08/09/2022:  04:11:48

Wow, a bunch of salty attitudes for sure...

...remove all salt from your tables and diets and I'll bet y'all would be even more saltier.

Tony S - Posted - 08/09/2022:  04:53:40

This is an excellent book about salt and a surprising page-turner.
Salt: A World History
By: Mark Kurlansky

rinemb - Posted - 08/09/2022:  05:16:17

Geologically speaking. Rock salt mined out of the earth IS sea salt. When it was deposited and buried a looonnnggg time ago those deposits were once a part of shallow seas that got isolated, the salt evaporated out of the water crystallizing then got buried. It’s sea salt. Halite is it’s mineral name. NaCl. Just like “modern” sea salt. Other minerals and critters get trapped in there as well. I suppose that is what varies the flavor. Brad

Edited by - rinemb on 08/09/2022 05:17:26

Paul R - Posted - 08/09/2022:  08:43:39

You guys don't get it. This is the real story of salt:

(Kate had a degree in Engineering from McGill, so she must have known.)

Edited by - Paul R on 08/09/2022 08:44:08

steve davis - Posted - 08/09/2022:  14:21:51

Doctors recommend salt in small doses,if at all.
If you use sea salt you'll never experience the bitterness of K.

banjo_brad - Posted - 08/09/2022:  14:36:39

Salt is my addictive ingestible. As a boy (and even today) I used to swipe crystals of salt from the ice cream freezer (that bucket full of ice that you cranked the metal paddle around in to make -real- ice cream.

I still (probably) over-salt my food and will often just pour a bit in my hand to lick off.

Of course, I grew up in semi-desert, the Kettleman Hills of the central San Joaquin valley of California, so we actually needed to increase our salt intake during the warmer months. Salt tablets were available on most work sites.

Owen - Posted - 08/09/2022:  14:47:02

Small doses?!?!?!  Then what was dat [if I recall correctly] going on about, in some past thread, with: Ya gotta keep your sodium levels up so the heart has enough oomph to power through the minor blockages. ?? wink

Just getting into one of my favorite times of year here in beautiful west-central Man-ee-toe-bah.   Cucumbers now mature with tomatoes soon to follow yes ..... fresh from the garden with enough salt to make up for scrimping the other 10 months of the year.  And we finally got the SurfSide operational, so there's camping [in a manner of speaking] to boot. Livin' the dream I tell ya!!

Edited by - Owen on 08/09/2022 14:53:18

steve davis - Posted - 08/09/2022:  14:50:43

The biggest problem with frozen foods like Jimmy Dean breakfasts or pizzas is the over-abundance of salt.

That's why doctors recommend staying away from that kind of food.

I don't know where the salt shaker is here.

Edited by - steve davis on 08/09/2022 14:51:55

steve davis - Posted - 08/09/2022:  14:52:44

Too much salt ain't good for your heart.

Edited by - steve davis on 08/09/2022 15:05:25

Brian T - Posted - 08/09/2022:  15:05:07

Potassium drives regular heart rhythm, not sodium. Chug another can of good Club Soda.

The thing with many of the exotic salts that I've bought is that they taste so "salty" that I use less and less. I'd take 4 at a time with a salt grinder to the pub. Even take my own little plate. Then eat whatever with fries and dunk them in the different salts on the plate. Those were about the best experiments I could do for personal entertainment. Eastern Vs western Mediterranean, volcanic salts, smoked salts. I had my reserved perch at the bar so the staff could taste the salts, too.

Two different grocery store chains, herb & spice section. That's maybe 4-5 salts. Seafood shop, maybe 2-3 more. Plain salt plus citrus peel DIY fades quickly but is great with seafood for a month. I bought a jar of "butcher's salt" in a sandwich shop. Pepper corns, chilis, all kinds of stuff with the salt. Needed grinding for use.

The fish shop had really elegant glass jars with a pound of Greek sea salt in each, $7.00.

Edited by - Brian T on 08/09/2022 15:06:20

steve davis - Posted - 08/09/2022:  15:07:28

One of the first things to go is salt when a doctor sees high blood pressure and heart issues.

steve davis - Posted - 08/09/2022:  15:08:33

and water retention.

Brian T - Posted - 08/09/2022:  19:17:56

That's where the marine/sea salts are useful. The impurities make the salt taste much more "salty" so (you might) I use a lot less that if I was using grocery store box salt.

The grocery store salt has been recrystallized one or more times. When you do that, the impurities don't fit into the growing crystals so they get left out of the purification process. This is a standard chem lab process which has been used for a century or longer.

Sea salts recrystallize to some extent but often a "slush" is allowed to dry, impurities and all.

Buddur - Posted - 08/09/2022:  20:16:55

Salt is like a woman...

...with perfect cubic cleavage.

Brian T - Posted - 08/09/2022:  21:00:20

That is so. Women are not left/right symmetrical. The rare symmetrics are the best catalog models for frilly things.

I've got 2 salts, (Maldon/England) and Cyprus Flake, which are crystallized into hollow pyramids, the biggest are about 3mm on an edge. Very fragile.

I've read Kurlansky: A World History Of Salt. I was interested to learn that in Olde English, every place name in England ending in -wich was a salt producing location. From the Latin: salarum with which Cesar's army was paid as a salary. Are they worth their salt?

AndrewD - Posted - 08/10/2022:  01:54:17


I was interested to learn that in Olde English, every place name in England ending in -wich was a salt producing location. From the Latin: salarum with which Cesar's army was paid as a salary. Are they worth their salt?

Maybe true of the salt towns of Cheshire. but in most cases it just means 'Market town'. Greenwich, Woolwich and Dulwich are in London and miles away from any salt water or salt mines. 

I stock 2 types of salt. Any old salt (usually Saxa or supermarket own brand) for use in cooking when it will dissolve anyway and a tub of Maldon crystals for sprinkling on afterwards. For me it's just a matter of texture.

rinemb - Posted - 08/10/2022:  05:11:19

The salt mines near me in Central Kansas have had quite a history. First they mined I like coal. Now the caverns are partitioned and rented as underground storage units. A lot of cool stuff stored down there, with its perfect lack of humidity. Much of the Hollywood films, gov documents, corporate docs, etc.
Then they found it more economical to just drill big holes into the salt formation and pump water into it then pump out the brine and evaporate it. When they are done with a series of holes, they were used for natural gas storage. Usually a perfect container, but not always. Brad

steve davis - Posted - 08/10/2022:  06:57:58

I never add salt to my seafood when I eat it.It's already in there.

rinemb - Posted - 08/10/2022:  16:19:34


Originally posted by steve davis

I never add salt to my seafood when I eat it.It's already in there.

I am envious of you and others of your locale to fresh seafood.  I was in heaven with my choices in Oregon, for ten days.  ? Do you soak your seafood in milk for a while?  


Brian T - Posted - 08/10/2022:  23:59:20

Not me. I'm 10 hours by car from tide water. Fresh fish in this village is a weekly treat, if that.

A lot of what I get seems flash frozen and I'll cook in a pan with butter and olive oil from frozen. The shrimp/prawns get thawed and boiled 4 mins with lime slices. None of it ever comes peeled and deveined so there's a chore to do.
They are so quick to cook so any sauces like peanut -soy and peanut hoi-sin and citrus get made first.
I don't do calamari at home any more. To messy and it stinks. Those are pub foods.

steve davis - Posted - 08/11/2022:  09:29:27


Originally posted by rinemb


Originally posted by steve davis

I never add salt to my seafood when I eat it.It's already in there.

I am envious of you and others of your locale to fresh seafood.  I was in heaven with my choices in Oregon, for ten days.  ? Do you soak your seafood in milk for a while?  


We freeze lobster meat in milk.

The fish in my chowders soaks in milk for 2-3 days until the leftover gets eaten.

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