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Let's talk about salt

Alter

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I love salt...but don't really know much about the various types..any recs? I am hoping foodguy, matt, kyle, sfield and the other food pros join in..as it was their discussion about baking in salt that got me thinking about this....and I can't remember what thread that was in.
 

kwilkinson

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My thoughts on salt:

Iodized salt sucks.
Kosher salt is good (I'm a Diamond Crystal man myself).
Fleur de sel is better.

A lot of those specialized salts are just marketing bullshit and consumer traps.

And to wrap things up: people don't use salt enough.
 

mm84321

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+1 on Diamond Crystal.

I use kosher salt on a regular basis, and never use iodized table salt. The crystals are too small, offer no control for application, and usually melt all at the same rate, causing a harsher taste IMO. I also really like a fine Fleur de sel for seasoning fish. I used sea salt when I made a salt encrusted red snapper for Christmas, which gave it a nice, fresh from the ocean like flavor.

I have heard good things about Himalayan Pink salt, and I have some in my cupboard, but I've never got around to using any of it.
 

Mr Herbert

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probably a question more for health and body but does anyone know how much salt is too much? i add it to pretty much all my cooking but i don't a) eat any processed foods b) do loads of exercise c) am a sweaty bastard.
 

acidboy

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I don't understand the popularity/proliferation of iodized salt. what is it for? do we really lack iodine in our diet? is there an upside with iodized salt?
 

gdl203

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La Baleine, the red boxes of coarse crystals. Throw in a salt/pepper mill and grind as needed.

Kosher salt for cooking
 

lefty

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Originally Posted by acidboy
I don't understand the popularity/proliferation of iodized salt. what is it for? do we really lack iodine in our diet? is there an upside with iodized salt?

Yes.

Worldwide, iodine deficiency affects two billion people and is the leading preventable cause of mental retardation.[1] According to public health experts, iodisation of salt may be the world's simplest and most cost-effective measure available to improve health, only costing USD$0.05 per person per year.[1] At the World Summit for Children in 1990, a goal was set to eliminate iodine deficiency by 2000. At that time, 25% of households consumed iodised salt, a proportion that increased to 66% by 2006.[1]

Salt producers are often, although not always, supportive of government initiatives to iodise edible salt supplies. Opposition to iodisation comes from small salt producers who are concerned about the added expense, private makers of iodine pills, concerns about promoting salt intake, and unfounded rumours that iodisation causes AIDS or other illnesses.[1] Iodisation programmes are more likely to be successful in areas where most edible salt is produced by a small number of large companies, as opposed to hundreds of smaller companies.

The United States Food and Drug Administration recommends[9] 150 micrograms of iodine per day for both men and women.
lefty
 

musicguy

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I saw a show on the food network about how all salt tastes exactly the same when cooked or dissolved. So, for cooking, it doesn't really matter. Kosher salt I use for when I don't have the salt dissolve. I've never tried so-called artisan salts.
 

kwilkinson

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Originally Posted by gdl203
La Baleine, the red boxes of coarse crystals. Throw in a salt/pepper mill and grind as needed. Kosher salt for cooking
I like La Baleine. Although I can only find it around here in the 26.5 oz cylindrical tubes.
 

ChicagoRon

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For a salt-crust on a fish, Fleur de Sel is a little pricey, no?

I'm wondering... would Ice Cream salt work? It's basically a rock-salt, and it's dirt cheap compared to other options, given how much you need.

Also - I recently purchased some pink/red Hawaiian sea salt to make salt-meat watercress. I'm very excited to use it.
 

Hartmann

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Personally, I'd use the cheapest salt you can find, since you'll be discarding it anyway.

Is rock salt even suitable for human consumption?
 

itsstillmatt

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Suitable as in safe? I think so. It tastes like shit, though. Next time you see oysters in a bed of it, taste a crystal. Ugh.
 

ChicagoRon

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Originally Posted by iammatt
Suitable as in safe? I think so. It tastes like shit, though. Next time you see oysters in a bed of it, taste a crystal. Ugh.
So Matt - would Ice Cream salt work or not for a salt crust? It would require like $30 worth of fleur de sel, so I just wouldn't do that. I guess Kosher isn't that much more expensive and you probably only need like a box.
 

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