Stop using Kosher Salt?


#1

This made me bristle with annoyance as an over the top, over reaction in a let’s make something out of nothing take on salt.

Is Koshser Salt bad?


(John Hartley) #2

Kosher Salt, as I understand it, is an American creation not available in the UK or our neighbouring countries. I recall a discussion elsewhere confirming that it is not like our readily available sea salt but I had no inclination until I read the linked article that it was something of a chemical creation rather than a natural salt product. Have I read the link correctly - that it is an industrial process presumably produced differently from normal salt which will be, erm, normal?


(Sprussel) #3

Mark Bittermen is self serving. Commercial bulk salt like kosher salt is of no use to him and his commercial enterprises like his overpriced store, and marketing himself.

Kosher salt is a bulk commercial product. But it isn’t “chemically” made. It is just mined salt, dissolved, and recrystalized in a way to make it as clean and pure as possible, and remove unwanted dirt, and assorted minerals.

The whole “article” is just hipster jive. Part of the whole, self entitled hipster mythos against everything that isn’t “organic”, “natural”, etc.

Salt has been mined for millennium, and refining it similar to today has been around just as long.


#4

I’ve just asked Mark Bittman on twitter what chemical process is he referring to? I think Sprussels is right and Bittman just hates Cargill because they are a large multinational corporation. He may be right to hate on Cargill, I don’t know anything about them, but I don’t believe the salt is somehow adulterated with Chems.


#5

Mark Bittman (http://markbittman.com/)
or Mark BittERman (http://markbitterman.com/)?


#6

Ha ha ha ha, serious LOL. Didn’t even notice. I asked Bittman, not Bitterman.

Thanks for pointing it out. Guess I’ll go delete the tweet.


(Sprussel) #7

I’m curious what Mark Bittman would say as well.


#8

I’ve always liked Diana Kennedy’s books and in ‘Nothing Fancy’ I read of her intense dislike of k salt. She also mentions that the late Marcella Hazan also disliked it - thought it only added sourness and ruined what it touched.
Must be other cooks/chefs with this opinion? I doubt my taste is refined enough to detect the differences.


#9

I use it and have been using it so long I have a good sense of how much to use by eyeing it and not measuring, at least for regular cooking. Baking is another matter.

It’s a BS article IMO.

I have purchased other more “natural” salts of different colors and the difference was too little to warrant further purchases. YMMV. At the end of the day, I’ll keep using my Diamond Kosher salt


(Doo B. Wah) #10

You can have my kosher salt when you pry it from my cold dead fingers!


#11

That article should come with a warning that reading it makes you stupider.


#12

I LOVE salt. Love it with a passion unparalleled. I tend to have low blood pressure and suspect my craving for salt is linked. Who cares.
I just can’t afford to use Maldon for everything and out of the many many salts i have purchased over the years it’s the only alternative i have found that has a similar (ok better) light and flakey texture to kosher salt.
I am always pinching salt from a bowl, and any of the more textured sea salts i have bought are either too large and coarse like munching tiny pebbles, or literally wet- ie can’t sprinkle the tiny pebbles even if i wanted to.
I’ll keep using kosher salt until Bittman agrees to sponsor my Maldon habit or actually comes up with an affordable alternative


#13

Since I was first to make this mistake, I want to clarify, it isn’t Mark Bittman, the salt smeller guy in the article is BITTERMAN.


#14

I didn’t realize how self serving until I learned that he has a botique store of finishing salts. It’s funny how in the article it criticizes kosher salt for being “blunt force” with no nuance. The description of his “flake salt” recommends it for “any dish where the full experience of salt’s most flamboyant texture or sensation is desired.”

And the article’s criticism of kosher salt not dissolving evenly on the surface? That’s the exact thing often looked for in a finishing salt.

This description under Curing Salts can be dangerous:
“Unrefined salt is also important for curing. There are natural, albeit very low, levels of nitrate in unrefined salt that subtly help with the cure, as will magnesium and other minerals.”


#15

Ah, apparently i have reading comprehension issues…!
Vaguely reassuring since i have some respect for mark BittMAN.
My two cents stays the same though


#16

Yes, he’s the big “Himalayan” salt guy. You can buy not just big pointless salt blocks made of the pink “Himalayan” salt from him, but also mortar and pestle sets and shot glasses.

https://themeadow.com/collections/himalayan-salt-blocks

About “Himalayan” salt:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Himalayan_salt


#17

Interesting. Marcella Hazan commented somewhere that adding salt before water comes to a boil will give the water (for pasta) a metallic taste. I don’t have her keen sense of taste, but I’ve treated that advice with skepticism and I’ve wondered whether she was using iodized salt when she made that observation.


#18

The difference in salts is very small. The difference colored by the color, appearence and the $ you paid for it. Flavor wise there is only a very small difference YMMV. I won’t get into the micro grams of various minerals. In the end it’s still salt. Now as a finishing salt texture can have a more significant influence in the finished dish


(For the Horde!) #19

Well, I don’t think Bitterman guy is against commercial salt because of our health. He is concern of the process has a negative impact on our environment, right?


(For the Horde!) #20

I have a feeling that you were even the first ten guy who asked him about this.