Kosher salt is sea salt, which is made by the evaporation off of seawater containing sulfuric acid. It's most commonly used as a seasoning in cooking, baking, cosmetics, and for the preservation of food. Also known as black sea salt or solar rock salt it's formed naturally by the sun over millions of years. As with other naturally occurring salts, their chemical properties include sodium chloride, bromide, chlorides and calcium carbonate. Most kosher salt contains an organic component called molybdenum which serves as an absorbent for the salt's minerals.
There are different kinds of salts including table salt and sea salt. Each has its own properties and it's important to know what each is and how it comes to be. Salt is divided into two groups based on the way it's produced, and that's either natural or artificial. Natural sea salt and table salt both come from the sea but sea salt and table salt are manufactured in a lab.
Sea salt contains more magnesium, calcium and potassium than any other mineral. So it's important to balance these properties for proper cooking. Sea salt can be used for food like fish, shellfish, and mussels but table salt isn't suitable for cooking most meats. Some people also prefer kosher salt to regular table salt because of its distinctive taste. In fact, some of the world's most famous chefs and cooks used kosher salt exclusively when preparing their cuisine.
Iodine is an important component in keeping foods fresh and safe to eat. It's found in seawater and can be removed by commercial laboratory facilities. Its levels in seawater vary so it's best to buy kosher salt which is tested for the appropriate amount of iodine. There are two forms of iodine, organic and inorganic, and it's usually added in amounts appropriate for the particular foods you're preparing. It's advised to read the food labels to know which forms you're using.
For centuries kosher salt has been a source of long-term prosperity, especially for people in the developing world. Economically advanced countries with access to rock salt mines tend to have higher per capita incomes than those who don't. It's no surprise then that kosher salt mines tend to be located in areas where there's plenty of access to fresh water, such as Israel and the West Bank, Egypt and Jordan, and parts of the Sahara Desert.
Economists suggest that people should use kosher salt and table salt interchangeably as they have similar impacts on the market. When people have less access to money, the need to save money is often met by using what money you do have to purchase essentials like food and fuel. Because the price of a product goes up faster than the cost of creating it, the high price of table salt and kosher salt tends to encourage people to substitute it for cheaper sources, like sea salt or cornmeal. If you're not sure whether or not to use kosher salt when making food for a Jewish family, it's probably best to err on the side of caution.
With the exception of black pepper, which contains a lot of pungent herbs, most kosher salt products contain very little flavor. That makes it difficult to change the flavor of food without affecting its nutritional value. As a result, most cooks prefer to use traditional salt in cooking. It's just that kosher salt tends to be on the softer side, retaining more of the flavor of other ingredients than does table salt.
Cooking with kosher salt or table salt will affect your health and the health of your family. To get started, make sure to rinse any salt residue from produce before using it in recipes. Also, purchase a salt shaker that's made of quality material. The kosher symbol is stamped into the shaker, and it's important to use only the kind that has that seal. You can't put any other kind of mark on it and you'll avoid health problems.