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1988RedT2
1988RedT2 UltimaDork
10/16/19 11:02 a.m.

So I'm breezing breezily through the grocery store, and I strike up a brief conversation with a young woman who asks me if I'm familiar with this "pink Himalayan sea salt?"  I quickly looked her up and down, doing a cursory threat assessment.  Hmm.  No obvious weapons.  No angry demeanor.  What's the harm?

"No," I replied, "But being 'Himalayan' it's probably not from the sea, but rather mined from within mountains."

"You're right!" she said apologetically.  "Do you know if it's better than regular salt?"

"I don't." I readily admitted. "In fact, I didn't even know it was a thing."

And thus was I made aware that pink Himalayan salt is indeed a thing.  We chatted for a minute longer, then we parted, each sincerely wishing the other a pleasant day.

And then I see this:

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2018/12/himalayan-pink-salt-in-your-kitchen/577390/

Where have I been?  Trader Joe's has been selling the stuff for a DECADE.   How was I unaware of this?

So fess up!  Who knew about this?  Why didn't anyone tell me?

It's salt.  And  it's pink.

Discuss.

mtn
mtn MegaDork
10/16/19 11:08 a.m.

Nobody told you because the only appeal to it over normal salt is that it is pink. Fun to look at, conversation starter, but I've found no discernable difference in it and regular salt. FWIW, it probably is indeed sea-salt, just from long dried up seas.

 

I haven't used it for cooking, as I use almost entirely kosher salt for that, but I'd assume its properties are about the same as any other non-iodized salt. I just like kosher salt for cooking. I think we still have some left, but we won't buy it again unless it is cheaper than normal salt. We bought it in the first place because its cool! Pink! WOOO! But that wore off quickly.

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
10/16/19 11:08 a.m.

I find it to be delicious.  There is also black salt.  I think the trace minerals affect color, but I am no longer expert.  
 

My wife is now hooked on this salt from David's.  I don't know what David does to this salt. But man. It's really tasty. 
 

https://www.amazon.com/Davids-Kosher-Salt-Pounds-Ounces/dp/B00A29E60Y/ref=asc_df_B00A29E60Y/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312157239338&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=12839099597515323192&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=m&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1019973&hvtargid=pla-633150937437&psc=1#

02Pilot
02Pilot SuperDork
10/16/19 11:21 a.m.

It's a finishing salt, meaning you use it to create visual impact by topping food with it after plating and before serving. It won't taste any different than other salt. Where you do find some actual culinary value in finishing salts is texture; things like fleur de sel and salts that are in large flakes or grains will feel different in the mouth than fine-grained table salt.

If you want actual taste differences, look to infused salts, like smoked salt, which can be very interesting, or salt blends. I make up a blend of fleur de sel and herbs that's a very nice topping for meat, especially pork.

nutherjrfan
nutherjrfan UberDork
10/16/19 11:25 a.m.

I think the more expensive restaurants even use it as a serving platter.  I could be wrong but if so that would be pretty high up on the scale of self-congratulation.  Yup cursory search seems to confirm that.  Thank God I am currently out of that bidness.  

I did start using salt again a few years ago when I learned the anti-salt crusade prevalent during my youth was just fascism.  smiley

Ransom
Ransom GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
10/16/19 11:31 a.m.

In reply to 02Pilot :

I mostly agree, but there is a significant difference in flavor effect even if the salt itself tastes the same, right? It's like when I discovered that not completely stirring fruit-at-bottom yogurt is actually more enjoyable than making it homogeneous, and the coarser salt is less, uh, salty when sprinkled over (table salt applied this way would be terrible). The little pops of salt against the food is very different to just making giving the dish higher levels of NaCl (or Na+ and Cl- if it's wet enough?).

Javelin
Javelin GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/16/19 11:33 a.m.

As discussed, pink salt is larger than table salt and finishes in a different texture, however so will real sea salt instead of the processed table salt.

Black salt is actually different and has a strong taste, very eggy/fishy complimentary. A *tiny* bit goes a loooong way.

Smoked salt is fun, but you should really try spit salt.

 

Error404
Error404 Reader
10/16/19 11:36 a.m.

Pink salt has traces of iron (for the pink) as well as some other elements. Like most salts. It does taste different, largely due to the grain size and the amount of salt you taste/time. I got some when the store was out of the sea salt I normally get, didn't really notice any difference.

NickD
NickD PowerDork
10/16/19 11:45 a.m.

It makes you look fancy.

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy MegaDork
10/16/19 12:06 p.m.

I've seen it for a number of years here.  I made an assumption that it was pink due to potash content, but that's pure conjecture on my part.

maschinenbau
maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
10/16/19 12:17 p.m.

I wonder which is more ecological? Mining the pink stuff from the actual Himalayas and shipping it halfway around the world, and all the emissions related to that process. Or extracting it as "sea salt" from a relatively nearby ocean, less shipping but more energy/emissions going into the boiling process. How do these newer trends compare to traditional fine table salt?

Or maybe I'm reading way too into this

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
10/16/19 12:25 p.m.
Javelin said:
but you should really try spit salt.  

 

Wait!  Is that a thing?? surprise

Karacticus
Karacticus GRM+ Memberand Dork
10/16/19 12:29 p.m.

My wife really like buying salt in those grinder dispensers-- I don't try to convince her that the only thing grinding salt accomplishes is that it just makes smaller salt.  

bmw88rider
bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
10/16/19 12:44 p.m.

In reply to SVreX :

Why it's called Spit Salt. 

 

Spit, WHAT?!?! Homer is a quaint little fishing town on the southern coast of Alaska and is best known for its geographical landmark, THE HOMER SPIT. It’s a badass land piece that stretches 4.5 miles straight out into the ocean. The salt in this jar was harvested right from the Spit. Hence the dorky name. #spitsalt

dculberson
dculberson MegaDork
10/16/19 12:48 p.m.

We use pink salt just because it's what Costco has in convenient dispensers. The funny thing is though that we were over at a friends house and our 5 year old chuckled and said "look, their salt is white!"

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
10/16/19 12:59 p.m.
maschinenbau said:

I wonder which is more ecological? Mining the pink stuff from the actual Himalayas and shipping it halfway around the world, and all the emissions related to that process. Or extracting it as "sea salt" from a relatively nearby ocean, less shipping but more energy/emissions going into the boiling process. How do these newer trends compare to traditional fine table salt?

Or maybe I'm reading way too into this

They probably mined the stuff in the Himalayas by injecting water into the salt deposit, pumping it out, and boiling the water off.

Curtis
Curtis GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
10/16/19 1:04 p.m.

As a foodie, I have to say it's not just a fad.  Salt is not just salt.  I mean, yes... it's sodium chloride, but it's what is mixed with it that really makes a difference in how it tastes.  In Japan, there are entire salt specialty stores with thousands of different salts.

The Himalayan salt is pink because of trace amounts of potassium, calcium, and magnesium.  Sea salt has all kinds of stuff in it.  There are even salts made by fermenting seaweed and rinsing the salt out of it so you get a greenish-brown salt with a little fishy taste.

Regular table salt is garbage if you ask me.  They started iodizing it because way back in the day people weren't getting enough iodine, but it gives salt a metallic taste.  I don't own a single grain of it in my house.  My standard is Kosher salt, which is just NaCl.  I have some Himalayan Pink that I use with some meats.  Another thing you can do with Pink salt is buy it as a big slab.  It looks like 2" thick pink marble.  You can throw it in the oven and get it screaming hot and set it on the table.  Your guests can take little chunks of meats and veggies and cook it right on the salt.

sobe_death
sobe_death Dork
10/16/19 1:06 p.m.

Recently discovered that in Japan, there are around 4000 different types of culinary salt, and most of it is "mined" from seaweed!

Curtis
Curtis GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
10/16/19 1:10 p.m.

Typically, the stuff you get as granulated pink salt is harvested like MadScientist describes; pump water in to a cavity, pump out the brine and evaporate it.  They will often have to add pink color to it because it dissolves a proportionally larger amount of just NaCl than the associated magnesium and potassium compounds.  The pink salt that comes as chunks in a grinder is mined by digging.

In truth, it's all sea salt to start with.  The Himalayan salt was once in the ocean, and the same tectonic seismology that created the mountains pushed the salt up there with it.  Same goes for the Grey salt from Austria.

Suprf1y
Suprf1y UltimaDork
10/16/19 1:46 p.m.

I'm not a big salt guy to begin with, but since my wife started buying it I'm off the salt almost completely.

I HATE it. To me it tastes bitter as hell and ruins everything I put it on.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
10/16/19 1:53 p.m.

I guess I'm a non-foodie and/or my taste buds aren't that refined, because salt is salt as far as I'm concerned.

Floating Doc
Floating Doc GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
10/16/19 2:17 p.m.
bmw88rider said:

In reply to SVreX :

Why it's called Spit Salt. 

 

Spit, WHAT?!?! Homer is a quaint little fishing town on the southern coast of Alaska and is best known for its geographical landmark, THE HOMER SPIT. It’s a badass land piece that stretches 4.5 miles straight out into the ocean. The salt in this jar was harvested right from the Spit. Hence the dorky name. #spitsalt

Been there. Amazing place.

Back on topic; Curtis, thanks for clarifying this. 

Woody
Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/16/19 2:20 p.m.

I was not aware of pink salt until this past weekend, when I saw it in two different places. I even sprinkled some onto a plate and tried it straight up, but I can't tell the difference between that and any other sea salt. It does look interesting though.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
10/16/19 2:56 p.m.

NaCl  is  NaCl. 

 

It's just the flavor of the month like gluten free. 

Edit: if it has impurities, can we just call it what it really is? NaCl + bullE36 M3.

dculberson
dculberson MegaDork
10/16/19 3:01 p.m.

That's like saying C2H5OH is C2H5OH. And we all know cheap vodka and good vodka are very different. Yet they're both just alcohol. Just like salt is "just" NaCl. 

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