One of the most important considerations when purchasing kosher salt for your kitchen is not only the kosher symbol, but also the color and other qualities of the salt. Many kosher salts come in different colors and each one has a distinct quality and characteristic. kosher sea salt, for example, is used to season and salty food; table salt is used as a cooking medium; and rock salt is the common salt we use at home and around the house. The table salt on the market today has no resemblance to the natural sea salt we all remember from our childhoods.
Kosher sea salt and kosher table salt both come in a very coarse variety, and are commonly used for koshering meat and kosher cooking. Seawater has a very strong smell, so it’s important to purchase kosher sea salt that has been harvested by a very observant and selective group of fishermen who follow strict standards of kosher observance. The natural sea salt we used in our kitchens back then was harvested from the sea floor, and its color ranged from green to various shades of brown depending on the iodine content of the seawater. If you were lucky enough to find this salt, it was a very coarse kosher salt and was used mostly to season and kosher meat.
Today, you’ll find kosher salt on grocery store shelves that mimic the natural kosher salt from our childhoods, but it’s still a bit different. There are many different grades of kosher salt that are available, and they range in price from about twenty dollars for a very coarse kosher salt to about five hundred dollars for a fine kosher salt that is used for kosher cooking. The prices fluctuate because there are many factors involved in kosher salt production including harvesting methods, the amount of pollutants removed from the water, and any additions that may have to do with the kosher symbol or colors.
Most kosher salt today comes from places in the Middle East, and kosher sea salt is often used in restaurants and kosher food preparation. It’s sometimes also used as a salt substitute, especially for sea food that may contain additional pollutants that kosher salt doesn’t. For instance, fish that may contain mercury or other toxins that aren’t prohibited in most countries, such as Japanese sea food, will often use kosher salt to make sure that the final product is safe for human consumption. Kosher sea salt can also be used for curing purposes in the same way that other salts are. As long as the curing process is done by someone who follows stringent rules, you can be assured that the salt is kosher.
As for table salt, there is no law against using kosher sea salt, but there is some opinion as to whether table salt should be iodized. Iodized table salt undergoes special processing that makes sure that all the elements have been properly identified. Unlike regular table salt, which is just a salt solution that has been treated with iodine, iodized salt is a salt that contains a small amount of iodine for the public to absorb safely without concern about harmful side effects. iodized salt is usually sold in stores along with table salt. You’ll often find it labeled with the International Standards Organization stamp of approval, a blue “I” symbol that means that the salt has been through an extensive review and that it meets the strictest international standards.
Iodized table salt does have advantages over regular sea salts, though. As the price of iodine supplements continues to rise, more people are turning toward the health benefits of this alternative. Iodized sea salts also tend to have a higher magnesium content than regular table salt, providing your body with important vitamins and minerals. Since the minerals found in kosher sea salts are natural and not synthetic, they contain no additives or other substances that could potentially cause adverse reactions in your body. This ensures that you’re getting everything that your body needs in one fell swoop.