Salt is one of the five basic tastes besides sweet, bitter, sour and umami. It is mainly used to enhance the sweetness and curb the bitterness in foods. Not just this, it is the age-old formula to preserve foods. Is this ingredient as pure as we think it is today? Read on to know more about different kinds of salts and also one of the purest salts.
By Samantha Skyring
Salt: The taste enhancer in our everyday food is more than just that. It touches our lives more than we can imagine. Well, researches now confirm that adding salt to food releases molecules into the air making it fragrant and aromatic. So it is not just the taste. Salt is also the very being of every cell in our body. The essential minerals in the salt act as important electrolytes in the body. They help with fluid balance, nerve transmission and muscle function. This is the one ingredient that goes into everything that is prepared in the kitchen! So we better use the purest one.
As a conscious consumer, knowing
where your salt comes from is the first
way you can separate good from bad!
Take it with a pinch of salt
There is uncertainty; Is salt good? If so then which salt is good? – Sea salt, rock salt, table salt and so on. It is also used to remove impurities and negativity from the food but the truth is, what’s bad about salt is what we do to it, how it is processed, refined, bleached and added with additives. And we had this coming- studies also found traces of micro plastics in salt products!! It’s time that we know the different kinds of salts and how to choose them.
Sea salt comes from the oceans and undergoes an evaporation process to separate the salt from the water. It contains a small amount of iodine and It is usually unrefined. Sprinkle it on your food to give a new burst of flavors than the regular table salt!
Himalayan Pink salt
These salts are mined from the salt range mountains of the Himalayas. Their pink color comes from their rich mineral content. You can use this to flavor your food or use it in your bath water to have a relaxing bath.
Fleur de sel
Fleur de sel literally means “flower of the salt”. It is hand-harvested along the French coastline in the same pools as grey salt; Mineral-rich sea salt with a delicate flavor and texture. To add a little punch to your food, add a little of this just before you eat and feel it melt right in your mouth to give a different dimension to the experience.
The underground brine lake is 100% saturated,
so it takes only 4 weeks for the salt to crystallize
in the main harvest season in summer when the
temperatures reach up to 47 degrees Celsius.
Black salt or Kala namak
There is also black salt, kala namak, which originates from India and is actually pink once it is ground. It is a kind of rock salt with a salty and pungent taste. Kala namak is considered a cooling spice in Ayurveda and is used as a laxative and digestive aid. It is sometimes added to dishes to mimic the smell of eggs.
Table Salt is sourced from soil and has its minerals removed through heavy processing. Today it is hardly what it is supposed to be. It is processed by heating it to 1200 Degrees and then flash cooled. Then, it’s loaded with Iodine and additives to slow down moisture absorption so it is easy to sprinkle in your salt shaker.
A salt that is worth its salt
Now that you know the types of salts and how it is better than table salt, it is time the world knows about Desert salt, which till now is known to a limited few. This white gold, literally, is 100% pure, just as it existed when traded ounce for ounce for gold eight thousand years ago. Nothing is added or nothing is taken away from it.
Oryx Desert salt is locally produced, with minimal processing requiring only the energy of the sun, using high-quality ceramic grinder heads which increase the lifespan of the grinders too!!
Here in the Kalahari Desert, ancient Dwyka rock formations, through which the underground streams flow, are geo-scientifically tested to be 250-300 million years old. The 50km2 salt pan is situated in the Kalahari Desert inside the Kalahari Basin.
As nature intended
Oryx Desert salt arrives at your table exactly as nature intended – no additives, no anti-clumping agents, and no preservatives, dried by the hot African desert sun: Unrefined and unprocessed. Oryx Desert Salt has all the essential minerals and trace elements that exist naturally in salt, including magnesium, zinc, and potassium.
A certain percentage of the sales is donated to the Khomani San and Mier communities in the Kalahari every month by Orxy Desert salt. The cotton bags used in their company are manufactured by a women’s township project. Their products are packed by Ukama Micro-Enterprise packing – training & empowering local community members.
So the next time you go shopping for salt, have a look at the packaging and never buy any product if you are unsure about its quality or safety. They have an impact on your own health as well as the health of our beautiful earth.