There is quite a debate about kosher sea salt versus table salt. What is Kosher sea salt? Is it just plain old table salt that is full of chemicals and has no redeeming qualities? Or is there more to kosher sea salt than meets the eye and in fact is much healthier than table salt?
Kosher sea salt comes from the Sea of Galilee, which is located right off the coast of Israel. During the time of the Second Temple, Jerusalem was being rebuilt and the people of Jerusalem used the rock salt they harvested from the Dead Sea as table salt. Over time, the harvesting of this salt became inefficient and many minerals began to be stripped away. This led to mineral deficiencies in the people of Jerusalem, causing them to become very deficient in certain important nutrients. As a result, the population began to decrease and the population never recovered from this loss of population.
Recently, scientists have been studying the effects of this sea salt on the human body and as a result have found that Kosher sea salt contains trace minerals which are able to help absorb the effects of certain vitamins and minerals. For example, magnesium, potassium, and magnesium iron have been found in trace amounts in kosher salt. Also, there are other trace minerals that help with blood circulation such as selenium, thiamine, niacin, and riboflavin.
Table salt is also refined and deodorized. The trace minerals that are naturally found in sea salts do not end up in the finished product and thus the industry uses various methods to make table salt. Most kosher salt is still harvested from sea waters and as a result, there is no refining or deodorizing involved. This allows the trace minerals that are found in sea salts to remain present in the kosher salt making it healthier for our bodies.
Today kosher sea salt is available at any grocery store and it is not rare for someone to be able to find table salt at their local grocer. In addition to table salt being less expensive, many believe that it is healthier as the trace minerals found in kosher sea salt do not end up in the finished product. Since kosher sea salt has so little processing involved it is easy to recognize kosher sea salt as real table salt. Most of the “iodized salt” that is on the market today is not kosher sea salt but instead it is just table salt that has had iodine added.
It is possible to add flavors to kosher salt which makes it even more appealing. For example, kosher salt is often combined with herbs and spices such as rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage, chervil, and lemon just to name a few. When these various flavors and salts are added to kosher sea salt they enhance its natural flavors even more. Each time people add a new flavor or salt to their kosher salt they are creating a different type of gemstone in the process. No longer is kosher salt just salt… it is a way of life.