sea salt vs. kosher salt
Is there any real difference between sea salt and kosher salt from a culinary perspective? My understanding was that chefs always recommended kosher salt because of its flake size and texture. If I were to grind sea salt to the same flake size as kosher salt, would there be any real difference between the two?
I have also read that sea salt contains trace minerals that are not present in kosher salt. Is this true? Does this affect the flavor of the sea salt in any noticeable way?
Salt Weight Equivalents - Table vs Kosher vs Sea
(as weighed on my kitchen scale)
I weighed 1 level Tablespoon of each.
Morton Non-Iodized Table salt 18.3 gm per tablespoon.
Morton Kosher salt 14.3 gm per tablespoon.
Diamond Kosher salt 12.4 gm per tablespoon.
La Baleine Sel de Mer (sea salt) 18.5 gm per tablespoon.
To me the taste is pretty much the same, but kosher is way easier to pinch from a salt pig. That said, I am talking Morton's to Morton's. However, other types of salt have very if fernet tastes to me. I am especially fond of wet grey salt and of halen mon. The former on a slice of fresh tomato...OMG.
re: tim irvine
Agree Tim. I find the specialty salts add a different texture more than flavor.
I would love to see the results of blind taste tests of different salts if the were ground to the same level to equalize the texture. I have an okay palate but really can't taste all the mineral nuances some detect in specialty sea salts
re: tim irvine
Cooks Illustrated did a taste test of fancy salts and ordinary ones. The results were that whatever minerality/flavor exists in the more expensive salts, their flavor is lost completely when dissolved in a stew or soup, for example.
Expensive salts are best used as a final finishing garnish, primarily for the texture (like Maldon sea salt, which has these great, big crunchy flakes- I love adding to the top of fresh buttered crusty bread)- and to a lesser degree, for the flavor. Diamond kosher salt is the kind they recommend and the kind I use, because it is easiest to control in pinched fingers. Maldon kosher salt grains are bigger and rounder, and are thus more cumbersome and slips out of my fingers more easily.
It's my understanding that Kosher salt is the "purest" salt....NaCl, nothing added. The Morton's table salt may have added iodine, and the sea salt should have other salts other than sodium chloride.
The "complexity" of flavor of sea salt depends on the brand, and how your tastebuds react.