Kitchen Myths

Facts and fiction about food and cooking, by Peter Aitken

Sea salt is different from “regular” salt

Much is made these days about using sea salt in recipes, as if it is automatically better than regular salt, which is mined. Sorry, but this is not true. Fact is, all salt is sea salt–but some ended up underground after ancient seas dried up and the salt deposits were buried by geological processes. In contrast, sea salt is made by letting sea water evaporate in shallow ponds. So when a recipe specifies sea salt, take it with a grain of salt (sorry, couldn’t resist!) and use whatever you have on hand.

This is not to say that all salt–mined or sea–is the same. In some locations, the salt has, for various reasons, been infused with tiny amounts of other minerals that can change its color and perhaps its taste. For example, Himalayan pink salt is mined in the Himalayas and contains, according to the manufacturer, 84 additional minerals that make it a delicate pink color. Likewise, Malden sea salt, from England, is supposed to be unusually pure and comes in large, irregular flakes that give it different mouth feel.

3 responses to “Sea salt is different from “regular” salt

  1. tricolorro1 July 22, 2020 at 11:29 am

    Regular table salt contains anti-caking agents which makes Table Salt distinctly different from other salts. The anti-caking agent used in the USA is normally sodium aluminosilicate, a synthetic man-made mixture of sodium, aluminum and silicon oxides. Aluminum in my salt? No thanks.

  2. G Harrison February 11, 2022 at 1:04 pm

    I’ve read that sea salt made by evaporated ocean water might contain micro plastics from pollution. Is this true

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