Salt is available in different types. Here is a brief overview about the differences between kosher salt and sea salt.
Salt is an indispensable ingredient, as far as the human diet is concerned. Apart from adding flavor to the food, salt is an essential nutrient for the human body. Saltiness is one of the basic tastes, and humans have been using salt as a food seasoning since time immemorial.
Apart from that, salt is also used as a preservative. It has thousands of industrial and other uses too. Salt is primarily composed of sodium chloride, which is essential for animal life. However, excess consumption of salt may cause various health problems, especially high blood pressure.
Salt meant for human consumption, is available in different forms, like table salt, sea salt, kosher salt, iodized salt, rock salt, and Celtic salt.
Salt is either mined from salt mines and rock salt deposits, or obtained through distillation of sea water (sea salt). While some types of salt, like sea salt, are unrefined; others, like table salt and iodized salt are refined, and are blended with additives.
What is Kosher Salt?
Kosher salt is a common variety of edible salt. It is characterized by larger grain size, when compared to the table salt. Mostly, kosher salt comes in flakes, rather than granules; and so, they have large surface areas.
It can be derived either from seawater or from underground salt mines. Usually, kosher salt is free of additives. It has a mild and bright salty flavor, as compared to table salt; and has a flaky crystalline surface, that enables it to stick to surfaces, like margarita glasses.
The name kosher salt is derived from its use in kosher foods (foods that fulfill the requirements of Jewish dietary law). The larger grain size and the flaky nature make this salt stick to the surfaces much longer. In case of kosher meat, the salt sticks to the meat for a longer time, drawing blood and other fluids out (koshering).
What is Sea Salt?
Sea salt is produced via evaporation of sea water. It is available in the form of both fine and coarse grains. It's not refined and is composed of around 98% of sodium chloride. The remaining 2 % includes trace minerals, like iron, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, and iodine. Refined sea salt is white, whereas the unrefined ones are slightly gray, pink, or sandy.
Differences between Kosher Salt and Sea Salt
● While sea salt is produced exclusively from sea water, kosher salt can be derived either from sea water or from underground salt mines.
● Both these types of salt mainly differ in their structure. Sea salt comes in granules of different sizes; whereas kosher salt consists of flakes with large surface areas.
● Sea salt has more pyramid shaped crystals, as compared to kosher salt, which has bigger crystals. Both types are available in refined versions too.
● Another aspect of kosher salt vs. sea salt is that, the former takes more time to get dissolved.
● Kosher salt is mainly used in koshering meat and for preparing kosher foods. If you want the salt to adhere to surfaces for a longer time, prefer this salt .
● As the granule size is larger, kosher salt is not preferred for baking or as table salt.
● Sea salt can be more expensive than kosher salt. Both of them can be slightly less salty than table salt.
● In both cases, measurement depends on the size of the granules or flakes. In case of large granules or flakes, you have to add a little bit more, than the smaller granules or fine grains.
● If you want to replace a teaspoon of table salt, use 1¼ teaspoon of kosher salt, or a teaspoon and a few granules of coarse sea salt.
In short, kosher salt and sea salt are preferred to table salt. This is due to the requirement of coarse salt in some recipes or due to the distinct flavor. However, like table salt, over consumption of both kosher and sea salt is not advisable.