Finishing salt, kosher salt and table salt
- CHEFINTHECLOSET Sep 22, 2009 08:42 AM
My doctor told me to ease up on salt. When I asked if I could switch to fleur de sel or kosher she wasn't sure if those salts were healthy. Is there a health benefit switching to fleur de sel or kosher besides the taste?
They are all salt, but I tend to use less of it when I use a more natural sea salt- especially more "crystallized" salts. They have more flavor and are easier to sprinkle exactly where you want them-with your fingers.
I've found that when I switched to kosher salt, I started using less of it since it gives me more control in how much I add due to its larger crystals. Also, I've noticed that even with less salt, a better flavor comes through from the food than using regular table salt.
One question for you- do you eat a lot of pre-prepared, canned, frozen, or packaged foods? I ask because those often have much more salt than what most people use in cooking. So one way of cutting out a lot of salt would be to cut those foods out of your diet and cook from scratch.
Otherwise, salt is salt. How much you use is a matter of taste, and it's hard to know from your post how much you tend to use!
Yes, salt is salt. But by volume, Kosher salt is less...but not by weight, because there is more air in between the flakes.
To decrease my salt consumption, I find applying kosher salt just before eating works for me. I know there will be those of you will tell us that cooking the food with the salt is better...whatever.
I use a lot of other spices while cooking and then apply a little salt on top just before eating. It works! But not for everything.
And I think table salt has a harsh flavor that kosher does not.
I agree with you re table salt. I can taste the iodine. The only thing is, I guess we all need at least a little iodine, and I don't know where else we get it (besides shellfish, I guess).
I buy very little processed food, but even in the little I do, I've found it's necessary to check the labels of everything I pick up in the store. I've found significant doses of sodium listed on some of the most unlikely items. For example, some of the cold breakfast cereals that are generally considered the most healthy ones. And I was also horrified to see that salt is added to my supermarket's storebrand of frozen vegetables. Why do they need to add salt to frozen vegetables, for heaven's sake? The name brands don't do it.
I keep a little jar by the cooktop and measure out a teaspoon of sea salt every day. That's what I limit myself to adding to our meats, vegetables and grains. It actually goes pretty far, and it's helped, over the years, to motivate me to try and learn to cook with a wide range of spices and herbs. My one exception is that when baking something, I will follow the recipe and not cut back on the salt, figuring no one person in the household is going to eat the whole portion of salt in it, anyway.