Many chefs and recipe books will mention “sea salt.” How is it different from regular table salt?
Sea salt is made from ocean water that has naturally evaporated. It is “harvested” from artificial or man made pools that are located near protected shorelines (thus minimizing pollutants that tend to accumulate in highly populated beaches). Table salt, on the other hand, is mined from a land-based location. Table salt also tends to contain sugar and anti-caking ingredients. It also has small amounts of potassium iodide.
Unlike table salt, sea salt contains 98% sodium chloride, which is less than table salt (which is about 99.9% sodium chloride). That’s because sea salt contains trace minerals, like iron and iodine.
Sea salt is thought to be a higher quality of salt. Chefs believe that it is more flavorful, while being less “salty.” They also say that the sea salt from different regions have distinct characteristics and taste. Sea salt is also kosher, and can be used by strict Jews because it has been approved by rabbis. Unfortunately, sea salt is considerably more expensive than table salt and not as easy to find in some countries.
Sea salt is also used for purposes other than cooking and flavoring. Some cosmetic products contain sea salt, which is prized for its exfoliating properties. It is also used in spas and skin care treatments. Deodorants and anti perspirants may also contain some natural sea salt crystals. It is also found in bath salts. Sea salt is sometimes used in saltwater aquariums, to preserve the right salinity levels for the fish.