Thursday, September 13, 2012

Kosher Salts Are Not the Same!

Its been a number of years since I rid my kitchen of iodized table salt
and started using a course kosher salt. I even stopped putting a salt
shaker on the table top.  If food is seasoned correctly before it hits
the table, I don't think extra salt is even needed and I think most people
have gotten away from adding salt to their prepared food at the table.
 But did you know kosher salt is not kosher?  It gets its name because it is
used to make meats kosher.  The large crystals allow it to absorb more
moisture so it's terrific with curing meats.  Although I do also use sea
salts, and finishing salts such as gray salt and pink Himalayan salt, I more
commonly use kosher salt in my cooking.  I do because it has a milder
flavor, the flakiness of the course granules sticks onto and absorbs into
the food better, and because it doesn't have any additives - so I
thought! I learned recently that there are differences in kosher salt.  
Not all kosher salts are created equal and, yes, believe it or not, some
do contain additives.  I'm usually pretty good at reading labels
but I never thought I needed to for salt! For instance,
the Morton brand kosher salt is one of the more popular
 brands because it is more readily available at our grocery stores.
As you can see on the label, it contains "Salt, Yellow Prussiate of Soda
 (Anti-caking agent)".  It actually contains an additive to prevent its 
clumping. I have heard of anti-caking (aka anti-clumping) agents used
in some pre-shredded packaged cheese, but never salt!
I was recently told about the Diamond Crystal brand and I found a box at 
my local Smart and Final store.  As its label reads, it only contains "SALT".  
Also, if you compare the sodium levels of the two brands, the 
Diamond Crystal has 280 mg sodium and Morton has 480 mg sodium.  
(both sodium levels are based on a 1/4 teaspoon serving size)
I enthusiastically made the switch and Diamond Crystal
is now in my pantry.  Who would have thought?

What kosher salt is on your shelf? 

~ Karen

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