Salt is the unsung hero of the culinary world, a flavour enhancer that brings dishes to life. While it may seem like a simple ingredient, not all salt is created equal. Three commonly used types of salt – kosher salt, sea salt, and table salt – each has their unique characteristics, applications, and culinary impact. In this in-depth exploration, we’ll dissect the differences between kosher salt, sea salt, and table salt, shedding light on their origins, processing methods, and culinary uses.

What is Kosher Salt?

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Kosher salt is a culinary staple that has earned its place in kitchens worldwide, cherished for its versatility and distinct qualities. Despite the name, kosher salt isn’t necessarily kosher-certified; rather, it derives its name from its traditional use in the koshering process of meats.

Origins of Kosher Salt

Kosher salt’s name traces back to its historical role in the koshering process, a Jewish dietary practice that involves removing blood from meat. However, kosher salt is not exclusive to Jewish cuisine and is used widely in various culinary traditions. Unlike some other salts, kosher salt isn’t typically mined from salt deposits; instead, it’s made through a process of evaporation from brine ponds, which allows its crystals to form naturally.

Texture of Kosher Salt

One of the defining features of kosher salt is its coarse texture. The grains of kosher salt are larger and irregularly shaped compared to table salt, giving it a unique tactile quality. This coarse texture is particularly advantageous in cooking, as it allows for easy pinching or sprinkling by hand. Many chefs appreciate the tactile experience of working with kosher salt, which provides a more intuitive way to season food.

What does Kosher Salt Taste Like?

Kosher salt’s flavour is straightforward and clean, characterized by its pure saltiness without any additional additives or minerals that might alter its taste. Because of its larger crystals, kosher salt dissolves more slowly than table salt, which can be advantageous when seasoning meats and vegetables. This slow dissolution allows the salt to adhere to the food’s surface, enhancing its flavour and texture without overly salting the interior.

Culinary Uses of Kosher Salt

Kosher salt’s culinary applications are diverse and wide-ranging:

  1. Seasoning Meat: Kosher salt is particularly prized for seasoning meat. Its coarse texture helps it adhere to the meat’s surface, which is crucial for drawing out moisture, resulting in more flavorful and tender meat. Many chefs use a technique called “dry brining,” where they generously salt meat with kosher salt in advance of cooking.
  2. Pasta Water: Kosher salt is often added to pasta cooking water to enhance the pasta’s flavour. Its slow dissolution allows it to infuse the pasta with a mild saltiness that complements the sauce.
  3. Rimming Cocktail Glasses: Due to its flakier texture, kosher salt is used for rimming cocktail glasses. It adds a delightful crunch and a touch of saltiness to cocktails like margaritas and rimmed martinis.
  4. Baking: Kosher salt is also used in baking, particularly for recipes that require precise measurements. Its larger crystals make it easier to distribute evenly in baked goods.
  5. Finishing Touch: Some chefs prefer to use kosher salt as a finishing touch for its crunch and texture. Sprinkling a pinch of kosher salt over a dish just before serving can provide a delightful burst of flavour.

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What is Sea Salt?

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Sea salt, a culinary treasure derived from the natural evaporation of seawater, is celebrated for its unique qualities and distinctive taste. As the name suggests, sea salt is harvested from the sea or ocean, making it one of the oldest forms of salt known to humanity.

Origins of Sea Salt

The origins of sea salt are deeply rooted in nature’s rhythms. It begins with the collection of seawater, typically in salt pans or salt flats located near coastlines. As the seawater evaporates under the sun’s heat, it leaves behind salt crystals, which are then collected and processed to create sea salt. This natural process gives sea salt its connection to the sea’s essence.

Texture of Sea Salt

One of the defining characteristics of sea salt is its varying textures. Sea salt can be found in various grain sizes, including fine, coarse, and even in delicate flakes. The texture of sea salt depends on several factors, such as the location where it’s harvested, the method of collection, and the extent of processing. This variety in textures offers culinary enthusiasts a wide range of choices to suit their specific needs and preferences.

What Does Sea Salt Taste Like?

The taste of sea salt is where it truly stands apart. Sea salt is celebrated for its distinct taste, often described as briny, mineral-rich, and more nuanced compared to table salt. This unique flavour is a result of the minerals and trace elements present in the seawater from which it’s derived. As the water evaporates, it leaves behind these mineral deposits, imparting a complexity to sea salt that enhances the overall taste of dishes.

Culinary Uses of Sea Salt

Sea salt’s versatility extends to its culinary applications, making it a favourite among chefs and home cooks alike:

  1. Seasoning and Finishing: Sea salt excels as a finishing touch for dishes. Its delightful crunch and unique taste make it ideal for garnishing salads, grilled seafood, roasted vegetables, and even chocolates. Sprinkling a pinch of sea salt over a dish just before serving adds a burst of flavour and texture.
  2. Cooking: Sea salt is suitable for cooking and is often used in recipes where its mineral-rich flavour can enhance the overall taste of the dish. It’s used in soups, stews, pasta water, and sauces to season food as it cooks.
  3. Baking: While sea salt’s large, irregular crystals may not be suitable for precise measurements in baking, some recipes call for the subtle briny taste of sea salt. It’s used in artisanal bread, cookies, and other baked goods to add depth and complexity to the flavour profile.
  4. Pickling: Sea salt is used in the process of pickling to preserve vegetables, fruits, and meats. Its mineral-rich nature contributes to the preservation process.

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What is Table Salt?

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Table salt, a kitchen staple found in virtually every home, is the unsung hero of the culinary world. Its origins, texture, flavour, and wide-ranging culinary uses might seem simple, but they contribute significantly to elevating the taste of countless dishes. Let’s explore the fascinating world of table salt.

Origins of Table Salt

Table salt, often referred to as “iodized salt,” is primarily mined from underground salt deposits. These deposits, formed over millions of years from ancient oceans, are a rich source of sodium chloride, the essential component of salt. Before being packaged as table salt, it undergoes a purification process to remove impurities and is often fortified with iodine, a vital nutrient for human health.

Texture of Table Salt

Table salt is finely ground to produce small, uniform grains. Unlike the irregularly shaped crystals of kosher salt or the varying textures of sea salt, table salt’s consistency ensures that it flows effortlessly through salt shakers and dissolves quickly in liquids. Its fine texture makes it easy to measure precisely, making it a preferred choice in baking and recipes where exact measurements are essential.

What Does Table Salt Taste Like?

Table salt boasts a pure and straightforward saltiness. Its flavour is sharp and clean, without any additional minerals or elements that might impart complexity. This simplicity allows table salt to deliver a consistent, predictable saltiness to dishes, which is desirable in recipes where the primary goal is to season without introducing any additional flavours.

Culinary Uses of Table Salt

Table salt is a versatile seasoning that finds a place in virtually every aspect of cooking and culinary applications:

  1. Everyday Cooking: Table salt is the all-purpose seasoning for everyday cooking. It’s used to season soups, sauces, stews, and a wide range of savoury and sweet dishes. Its fine texture ensures even distribution, enhancing the overall taste of dishes.
  2. Baking: Table salt plays a vital role in baking, where precise measurements are crucial. It helps activate the yeast, control fermentation, and enhance the flavours of baked goods. In pastry and desserts, a pinch of table salt can balance sweetness and accentuate flavours.
  3. Preservation: Table salt has been historically used for preserving foods through techniques like curing and pickling. Its ability to draw out moisture and inhibit microbial growth helps extend the shelf life of meats, fish, and vegetables.
  4. Iodine Fortification: Table salt is a significant source of dietary iodine, a nutrient essential for thyroid health. Iodine deficiency can lead to thyroid disorders, making iodized table salt a crucial component in addressing this health concern.
  5. Tableside Seasoning: As the name suggests, table salt is often found on dining tables, allowing individuals to season their food to taste. It’s commonly used to add a final touch of saltiness to prepared dishes.

Choosing the Right Salt

The choice between kosher salt, sea salt, and table salt ultimately depends on your culinary intentions and personal preferences. Here are some considerations to help you choose the right salt for the job:

  • Flavour: Think about the flavour you want to impart to your dish. If you desire a clean, straightforward saltiness, table salt is a safe bet. For a more nuanced, briny taste, go for sea salt. Kosher salt falls in between, with a clean taste but larger crystals that dissolve more slowly, which can enhance flavours.
  • Texture: Consider the texture you need. If you want a coarse texture for a satisfying crunch and textural contrast, opt for kosher salt or certain sea salt varieties. For recipes that require precise measurements and even distribution, choose table salt.
  • Culinary Application: Think about the specific dishes you’re preparing. Kosher salt excels at seasoning meat and for recipes that benefit from slow salt dissolution. Sea salt is ideal for finishing and enhancing the flavours of ingredients. Table salt is your everyday workhorse for cooking and baking.
  • Health Considerations: Table salt is typically iodized, which can help prevent iodine deficiency. Sea salt and kosher salt are generally not iodized, so consider your iodine intake when making your choice.


The world of salt is more complex and flavorful than meets the eye. Kosher salt, sea salt, and table salt each bring their unique attributes to the table, adding depth, texture, and taste to your culinary creations. By understanding their differences and applications, you can elevate your cooking and seasoning skills, transforming ordinary dishes into extraordinary ones. Whether you’re seeking a pinch of nostalgia, a dash of complexity, or a sprinkle of tradition, the right salt awaits your culinary journey. If you’re still choosing between the salts, check out our full range of salt collections at our shop here.