Why You Shouldn't be Cooking with Himalayan Salt (and what you should be using instead)
Everywhere you turn these days, there it is. The iconic pink salt crystals have invaded our living rooms, bedrooms, and kitchens. From Himalayan Salt Crystal Lamps to Himalayan Salt grinders and shakers you don't have to look far to find it, but what is Himalayan Salt?
According to WIkipedia, Himalayan Salt is a type of Halite or Rock salt that is mined in the Punjab region of Pakistan, about 190 miles (310km) from the Himalayas. It gets its pink color from the high iron content in the clay soils it is mined from. Naturally Himalayan salt is an off-white color, with veins of impurities running through it. It is these impurities that gives Himalayan Salts their color, it is also why there are better choices out there for your kitchen salt.
In our taste tests, the Himalayan Salts was found to leave a slightly bitter aftertaste, possibly due to the iron content.
Types of Salt
- Epsom Salt ( magnesium sulfate )
- Glauber's Salt ( sodium sulfate )
- Road Salt (Rock Salt + additives)
- Rock Salt (Halite)
- Sea Salt ( a mixture of salts and minerals, obtained by evaporation of seawater )
Salt is used widely in industrial applications and only the bottom tow types of salt are edible. Rock Salt and Sea Salt.
Common table salt is rock salt that as been heavily processed, which includes the addition of iodine
Himalayan Salt is a form of rock salt.
Kosher Salt not a type of salt, bit more of a generic term for a coarse rock salt with no additives, even though that can vary by manufacturer. (note: Not all Kosher salt is "kosher")
Sea salt comes from evaporation of sea water; methods of collection, evaporation and processing vary by region and manufacturer.
Rock salt is cheaper and far more plentiful than sea salt and therefore it is also cheaper, however an unrefined Sea Salt is going to be your best bet for most all cooking needs.
What about all those trace minerals in Himalayan Salt that are supposed to be good for you? Guess what? They're in Sea Salt as well.
Check out this comparison between Trapani Sea Salt (from Sicily) and Himalayan Salt (from Punjab, Pakistan)
Trapani Sea Salt
As you can see, they are very similar in chemical composition, but certain undesirables (sulfur, insolubles, etc) are less in the sea salt. Since the Sea Salt is far better in taste, and is as healthy (if not healthier) than Himalayan Salt, therefore Sea Salt is what should be in your kitchen cabinet, leave the Himalayan Salt for the lamps and bathing salts.