I just received this question, via email from a friend:
Celtic Sea Salt vs Himalayan Salt
Which do you prefer? I know you like lots of flavored salts, but this is just for everyday use.
Kathie, for an overall, general use, I go for the Himalayan Salt.
I think the H Salt is more intense and sweeter – so I use less, and it lasts longer than the Celtic Salt. Although, to be honest, my taste buds could be influenced by the color… the Celtic Salt is grey, the H Salt is pink.
Sodium has sweet salty taste, calcium and magnesium has bitter salty taste
Both of these two salts have a full-spectrum mineral profile, 80-some minerals, and the ratios of the minerals will be different for these two salts. Going with my idea that H Salt is sweater — my guess is — is that the H Salt has higher ratio of sodium to calcium/magnesium content. And that the C Salt has a higher ratio of calcium/magnesium to sodium ratio. Harold McGee, in his book: On Food and Cooking, says that calcium and magnesium are removed in the process of making table salt b/c of their bitter taste.
Most commercial chefs — an educated guess here — use kosher salt while they are cooking food b/c they can easily feel the large salt crystals as they take a pinch of it. Chefs also use kosher salt b/c it doesn’t have added sugar and anti-clumping agents like table salt does, which will have an off flavor when cooked … while grilling or sauteing or pan frying.
When to add salt
Most times I salt food at the table, AFTER I cook it, so I like the H Salt b/c I can get it in a ‘fine grain,’ and the fine grain covers more evenly, more area. I’ve only found C Salt in course crystals, although, this is a non issue if you have a fine salt grinder.
Flavored salts, finishing salts
Yes, I love to use flavored salts, again – adding them after I’ve cooked the food, as a garnish. The flavor molecules are small and volatile – meaning they are heat, water and air sensitive. So, their flavors will dissipate and change while cooking, not good. Because of this they are considered “finishing salts.”
Here’s a list of flavored salts I use:
- smoked salt
- black salt
- fleur de sel ….. click here to see video of harvesting the salt
- porcini salt
- truffle salt
Making your own flavored salts