Sea salt, sometimes called Himalayan salt, is the salt of choice for chefs and home cooks alike for its naturally delectable flavor and delectable texture. The salt is often used in Chinese and Japanese cooking, but the true Himalayan salt has yet to be found outside of the Asian continent. But the Himalayan variety of salt offers a close relationship to the land of the dead. With the ancient art of necromancy and with the dark secrets of the gods, salt has been linked with death for centuries.
Sea salt comes from natural pools that are deep enough to contain dissolved substances. It is often harvested by means of electricity or other methods, but there is no way to artificially create the salt. The water that is pumped up to the surface is the first subject to evaporation and is collected later on by wind or other means. Manufacturers then sprinkle it liberally on dry chips and pretzels, along with a natural coating claim and a pretty red label. And then paying more for unrefined, natural kosher salt and dyed processed salt. Paying more for a delectable product isn't really what we're after when we want to add a taste of the exotic.
Most of us have no problem buying fine kosher salt for use in cooking, or for sprinkling on our baked potatoes, toasted bread, and shepherd's bread. What we have a problem with is buying table salt that has gone through the process of "crystal salt enhancement." This process involves adding a fine line of sodium bicarbonate to natural table salt crystals in order to make it have a slightly better crystal structure. The problem here is that the salt does not retain the same crystal lattice structure that sea salt does, and the result is a salt with a pungent, salty taste. Not exactly what we're after.
A better alternative is to buy an artificial, cultured sea salt, which has been modified to incorporate a small amount of bicarbonate of soda along with other essential minerals. After this process is complete, the salt is left to crystallize in much the same way as sea salt does. But because it is cultured, there will be a far smaller amount of salt crystals to worry about. In fact, some experts argue that there are far fewer toxins in artificial salts than in sea salts. The best thing about artificial salts, however, is that they do not contain trace minerals such as potassium and magnesium, which are essential for good health. Many artificial salts also lack calcium, which is critical for building strong teeth and bones.
While there are many benefits of using artificial sea salt, one of the major drawbacks is that you must be able to absorb the tiny trace amounts of these minerals that are necessary to make the taste worthwhile. For most people, just a pinch of fine sea salt will satisfy their taste buds, but for others, even trace amounts of impurities can ruin the flavor. This is why you should understand the process of how impurities are absorbed, and what these trace amounts actually contain.
There are two different methods used to create sea salt, and each method leaves behind trace minerals in the process. First, when the seawater is evaporated, the moisture is taken out of it and put back into the sea salt. The water vapor leaves behind trace amounts of potassium and magnesium, which are important to our bodies. This is why regular table salt is often considered "dieter's salt" since it often lacks these essential minerals.
Another method of getting salt into the body involves the process of "mineralization". When you look at sea salt, you will see that it is basically composed of mineral deposits that have been mined. The process of mining is necessary because the minerals found naturally in the sea salt can't be manufactured into a fine enough powder to be able to be put into table salt. Instead, the minerals are shot through a gun-like device that creates a fine mist of minerals that will then be spread onto the salt's surface. Once this has been done, it will be necessary to continually shoot more salt into the air until the crystals have all been used up.
One of the more troubling issues regarding kosher salt is the trace amounts of iodine deficiency that are contained within it. Since iodine is necessary for the normal functions of the human body, the deficiency of iodine can lead to serious health complications. It has also been found that sea salt does not contain nearly enough iodine to help combat iodine deficiency in people who suffer from this condition. It is therefore imperative that those who suffer from iodine deficiency make sure that they are taking in a sufficient amount of iodine on a regular basis.