A Brief History of Sea Salt
Sea salt, also known as coarse sea salt or table salt, is used for cooking on outdoor grills, barbecue grills, hot tubs, and other public gatherings. This salt can also be purchased in retail stores. It has been around for hundreds of years, so you know it has a proven track record of safe usage. The main concern about its consumption is that many people believe it to be a toxin that triggers an assortment of health issues like high blood pressure, headache, muscle pain and nausea. Nothing could be further from the truth, sea salt does not have any toxic qualities.
Sea salt is a broad category, which generally refers to all types of salt mined directly from a sea or ocean. It is mined through channeling large amounts of sea water into large clay pots and allowing it to evaporate naturally over a period of time. The process leaves behind fine crystalline crystals which are rich in minerals. There are many types of this salt, which vary depending on where it was mined and what the natural minerals of the sea are like. Below is a brief description of each type of mined sea salt:
Kretei – This type of sea salt is the most common one to be bought in supermarkets because it is inexpensive, widely available and widely used worldwide. It has the highest sodium concentration of any table salt you can buy, so it is very popular in Israel and the Middle East. It is generallyidered acceptable for consumption as long as you do not exceed the recommended daily intake.
Galapagos – As the name implies, it is the only type of sea salt which is mined from the Great Barrier Reef itself. It comes in two forms: coarse and fine grain. The coarse form can be used for table salt or to add certain flavoring to food. The fine grain forms are perfect for using in cooking, especially if you want a salt with a high content of flavor and nutrient value.
Herbs – Among the most popular herbs used today are sea salts. You will be able to find them sold in health food stores, gourmet supermarkets and online. There are many different varieties to choose from. Some of the more popular ones include santolinas, Rosemary, thyme and oregano. All these herbs are known for their medicinal properties and have been used for centuries by Mediterranean and African cuisines.
Harvesting – Salt is harvested from seawater by using a harvesting machine. A lot of salt mining companies nowadays also utilize automatic dredging machines in order to extract more mineral salt from seawater. The process of harvesting can take several hours up to a few days depending on how deep the area is where the harvesting is taking place. It starts by finding holes in the sea floor where the salt mines are located.
Extracting – Salt is extracted from the mines by using different methods. In some cases, mechanical devices are used such as vacuum trucks. Others use a filtering system such as water, sand and coarse gravel. However, the most convenient way to extract sea salt is through using a pressure exchanger. This process allows salt to be separated from seawater using high pressure and lower sea water temperatures. Although there are many other ways to extract the salt, it is believed that the most effective one is through the pressure exchanger method because of its proven efficiency and safety record.
Sea salt is made into products such as sea salt chips, sea salt granules and sea salt flakes. When table salt is added to these products, they have the same texture and taste as that of mined sea salt. With its popularity is increasing over the years, more restaurants, manufacturers and consumers are starting to enjoy the wide variety of sea salts available for use in the kitchen.