Although it's technically correct to call kosher salt kosher, this is not entirely what it used to be. Originally kosher salt was manufactured and sold as sea salt. It was first manufactured as a trading name and then it began to be recognized by the rest of the world. Today kosher salt is available in many varieties and is produced by various manufactures. This article focuses on kosher salt and whether or not it should be used on non-kosher meat.
Although it's technically correct to call kosher salt kosher, in most cases it is not. Originally kosher salt was manufactured and sold as sea salt. However, in Jewish dietary law, meat must be slaughtered according to the exact same way as kosher meat. To this day, kosher salt is only used for kosher meat but many others use regular salt to slash or slice their meat without worrying about the quality of the kosher symbol. The main difference between regular salt and kosher salt is the level of minerals and other trace elements in the salt.
The main difference between sea salt and table salt is the method of harvesting the salt. Sea salt is harvested by lifting the container from the seafloor and scooping it into the container. This harvesting method also determines the mineral content of the salt and also determines the extent to which it may be used for food or ornamental purposes. Table salt is harvested using a device that opens the container allowing the salt to fall out. There are no mechanical harvesting methods used in table salt production and because there aren't any rock salt deposits to drill, it's much less expensive to produce.
Of course, the cost differences between the two aren't just a price gap that can be passed off to your customers. One of the main differences between sea salt and table salt is the way they are harvested. Sea salt is harvested by opening the container and flushing the salt through the ocean. Table salt is generally harvested by using a machine that slowly moves the salt through the earth, causing the minerals to stay in place.
There are many different types of kosher salt on the market today. There is even a whole industry built around selling different types of salt to people looking for the best salt for their tastes. It's important to know a little bit about the different types available to you so you're not limited to only one type when shopping at the store.
Most kosher salt falls into three basic categories based on whether or not it has been harvested by hand or electronically. Unrefined sea salt has been harvested by hand but has not been subjected to any kind of artificial treatment. This type of kosher salt is great for cooking but is typically not the best choice for salting meat. On the other hand, refined sea salt is processed more thoroughly and is a great alternative for cooking.
Refined kosher salt is less refined than unrefined kosher salt. This means it has gone through a process similar to that of table salt to make sure it has the minerals and nutrients it has been designed to have. In addition, it does not have the additives most table salt has. These flakes tend to be more coarse, crunchier, and harder. Many people prefer the texture of coarse kosher salt over less refined, softer kosher salt because it makes the food taste saltier.
Salt from seawater has been used for millennia for a variety of reasons. When salt rocks are formed in the seawater, they are actually gypsum and have been found to have a number of minerals in them. These minerals can add a great deal of flavor to any dish. Over the years, different methods of processing have been developed to make this salt commercially available. The most commonly used method for processing is called "oregano" curing, where hot, dry seawater (often with a little sulfur) is mixed with the salt and allowed to settle. The resulting salt crystals lock in the minerals, improving the flavor.