Most people are familiar with table salt, sea salt, and even Himalayan salt. But have you heard of black Hawaiian salt or Kala namak? There are a lot of different types of salt out there, with a plethora of different uses and flavors. Let’s explore a few!
Table salt is the most common form of salt. It’s harvested from deep underground salt mines, and highly refined and purified. Other minerals are removed from this salt, and many times table salt is iodized to help prevent iodine deficiency.
Kosher salt is flakey and coarse. It is often added to meat during the koshering process and cooking. Its large grain size adds a surprising burst of flavor to every bite.
Sea salt is harvested from evaporated sea water. It often contains other minerals, including zinc, potassium, and iron. These minerals can be very beneficial to your body, and they gave sea salt a complex, vivid flavor.
Celtic Sea Salt, or sel gris, is harvested from the bottom of tidal pools of the coast of France. It has a moist texture and a briny taste, so it’s often used for fish dishes.
Fleur de Sel is a sea salt harvested from the surface of tidal pools off the coast of Brittany, France. It has delicate, paper-thin salt crystals and must be harvested with wooden rakes on sunny, dry days. Because of this, it is the most expensive salt. It is often used as a finishing salt to flavor meats, seafood, or veggies, and can even be used to flavor chocolate and caramel.
Himalayan salt is the purest form of salt. It is harvested by hand from the Khewra Salt Mine in the Himalayan Mountains. This salt contains 84 natural minerals and elements that are found in the human body. Because of this, it is often used in spa treatments, as well as cooking. In addition, due to its high-temperature tolerance, it is also used for salt lamps.
Kala namak, or black salt, is Himalayan salt that has been backed with charcoal, herbs, seeds, and bark, then fired in a furnace. It has a reddish-black color, a pungent taste, and the slight scent of eggs. It is often used in vegan and vegetarian dishes to give off the taste of egg. This salt is also used in Ayurveda practice, a traditional Hindu medicine.
Black Hawaiian salt, or black lava salt, is a sea salt harvested from the volcanic islands of Hawaii. Its dark color comes from the addition of activated charcoal. This salt is coarse-grained and crunchy. It’s typically used to season pork and fish.
Red Hawaiian salt, or alaea salt, is also harvested from the volcanic islands. Its red color comes from the iron-rich volcanic clay alaea. It was used for centuries in Hawaiian ceremonies as a way of cleansing and purification. It is also used in many traditional Hawaiian dishes, including poke and pipikaula.
As you can see, salt comes in many different varieties and has a variety of uses. From medical healing properties, to cleansing and purification, salt has traditionally played a positive role in many cultures.