Organic Sea Salt in the Culinary World
By Tina M Barnash
In the US, salt has been regarded for many years as more of a harmful mineral in our diet than an essential one. In fact, the mainstream recommendation to limit salt in our diet has prompted many of us to think of salt as a “no-no” rather than an indispensable component of our diet. Since this highly encouraged sentiment has been prevalent over the last few decades, very little emphasis has been placed on consumption of healthier salt rather than avoiding it as much as possible. Some may not even be aware that the main cause of some of the health issues we have today are created by the intake of our modern processed salt. This chemically processed salt did not even exist until the last 100 years or so, when the chemical-industrial revolution made such processes possible. While it remains undisputed that the “all things in moderation” axiom should be observed in regards to our intake of salt, news of a unique type of sea salt, particularly organic in nature is causing many to re-evaluate their choice of this prized food ingredient.
It is generally agreed that sea salts are healthier for the body than processed table salt; however, concerns about modern pollutants contaminating sea salts derived from current ocean water are well founded. Those produced from evaporated modern ocean water are likely to contain the very same pollutants which are present in ocean water in many locations around the world. Hence, unless you know for sure where the salt comes from, which can be impossible for the consumer to be sure of, these salts may very well be contaminated with man-made pollutants and chemicals. Meanwhile, sea salts retrieved from ground surface beds may contain the modern pollutants present in the air. Processing these minerals to remove the toxic chemicals would also remove natural essential vitamins and minerals and chemically alter the composition, reducing it to a state basically no healthier than the mostly sodium chloride composed manufactured product we regularly use.
The Good News -Ancient Sea Salt
Many food conscientious individuals are excited to hear that there is in fact a pristine form of sea salt which has remained untouched by modern pollutants and chemicals; Himalayan Pink Sea Salt. This unique form of salt is deemed to be perhaps the worlds’ purest salt, as it has remained protected far beneath the earth in the Himalayan Mountains for millions of years. Himalayan Salt is organic, unprocessed, natural salt which retains all of the 84 + essential minerals it was created with millions of years ago, along with the natural ability to be easily broken down and absorbed by the body when consumed. This salt, also known as “white gold”, has been used by the people of the Himalayas for hundreds, if not thousands of years to preserve staple meat supplies and trade in the lower valleys for other goods.
As beautiful to behold as it is delicious to taste, this sea salt acquires it’s pink or peach coloring from the natural essential minerals it contains. This mineral content also provides Himalayan Sea Salt with another wonderful surprise; the dense nature of the salt enables it to be cut or carved into shapes. This ability is gaining the salt rave reviews and rapidly increasing popularity in the culinary world due to the salts’ surprising alternate ability to be cooked on, rather than just sprinkled over or mixed into foods.
Growing Popularity of Organic Sea Salt
In the health conscientious culinary niches of Oregon, Arizona, and New York, as well as most of the eastern coastal states, Colorado and California, an increasing number of renowned chefs at hotels, spas, resorts, and restaurants have been using this organic sea salt instead of traditional sea salt or processed table salt in their foods. By creating new, tasty dishes using this organic salt, as well as grilling and serving foods like grilled shrimp, scallops and steak on salt “blocks”, also known as salt slabs, grills, tiles and trays, they are bringing Himalayan Sea Salt to individuals in the US who may not have otherwise heard about this wonderful salt. Some of these dishes are actually served upon the salt on which they were cooked for a savory presentation which is followed up by a rich, gourmet flavor that more than satisfies the taste buds. Many sushi bars now serve their signature sushi on chilled salt blocks for added flavor as well. The salt has also been fashioned into “salt serve ware” such as plates, bowls and glasses. These salt dishes are now featured in many renowned establishments worldwide and are used for serving anything from chilled desserts such as ice cream and sorbet, to drinks such as margaritas and tequila.
Meanwhile an ever increasing number of individuals are discovering Himalayan Sea Salt and are choosing to use this organic sea salt in their cooking as a healthier, and more flavorful, alternative to processed table salt. Himalayan Salt Blocks are showing up at backyard BBQ’s across the US, with families and friends enjoying a new style of outdoor grilled foods such as sear grilled meats, as well as chilled fresh vegetables and salty and sweet, chilled desserts. Individuals are also enjoying the salt blocks indoors, for special occasion and holiday foods which are grilled on the blocks over the kitchen stove. As the internet is teaming with great Himalayan Salt recipes, tips and techniques for using the salt as well as BBQ grilling tips and techniques, there is no shortage of fantastic, new dishes to try at home. No matter how or where they try it the first time, most people who try the salt quickly prefer it over any other salt they have ever tasted.
With sensational, natural flavor and the ability to create new and unique food presentation possibilities, this ancient Organic Sea Salt is bringing healthy enjoyment of salt back into the lives of many. With it, we find a new understanding of how important natural salt is in our diet, new unique methods of salting our foods and a new, rich yet subtle salt flavor to tempt our taste buds!
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