Kosher sea salt is an important part of Jewish culture. Since biblical times, Jewish people have recognized the benefits of salts in their diet and have used it for preservation of food, preserving liquid fish products such as broth and milk, preserving meat and fat, and for other purposes. This salt symbolizes faith and tradition in the Jewish faith. The main use of kosher salt is in kosher food, preparing kosher foods, preparing food for the kosher holiday season, and in the cleaning of kitchen and table utensils.
Kosher salt is actually salt, which is generated by the evaporation of water. It's most commonly used in cooking, baking, cosmetics, and for preserving food. It's also known as rock salt, sun-flake salt, or sea salt. As a result of its unique purity, kosher sea salt tends to retain a clear, "precious" taste even after many years, unlike regular table salt which begins to turn grey.
It's no surprise that kosher sea salt is a big seller in the kosher food industry. Most people associate salty taste with fish, but there are a variety of culinary uses for this salt as well. Most chefs will add a pinch of kosher salt to rice or vegetable dishes to bring out the flavour. There's even some kosher salt used on white wine to impart its distinct taste.
Beyond the culinary uses, kosher sea salt have traditionally been used for healing in the Jewish community. According to the Jewish belief it is an act of faith to sprinkle these natural stones on the body to keep evil spirits from flowing into the bloodstream. It has also been said that sprinkling the nose, eyes, mouth, and tongue with the salt can keep a person from being possessed by the devil.
There are several varieties of kosher sea salts on the market. One of the most expensive varieties is the kosher plain kosher salt. This salt offers no flavour, but can be used to season chicken or beef. Kosher plain kosher salt is harvested from the same place that it is manufactured and shipped to salons where it is used to flavour meats and vegetables. The "net trenches bay" variety is a more expensive alternative to plain kosher salt. These kosher salts are harvested from the Kedemyt Bay, located in Egypt.
Net trenches kosher salt comes directly from the ocean and is harvested by hand. Unlike kosher sea salt that is harvested using industrial machinery, netarts bay kosher salt is harvested by hand to maintain the purity and freshness of the salt. It contains a high percentage of minerals and is prized for its purity. Netarts Bay kosher salt is often found in high-end restaurants and luxury spas. In addition to its use in food preparation, it has become quite sought after for its use as an aesthetic accent on tile and counter tops in kitchens.
Smelt and smoked kosher sea salt are also available. Smoked salt is used to help bring out the natural flavour and aroma of foods. Smoked kosher sea salt is often used to flavour highly seasoned meat products like bacon and chicken. Smoked salts are infused with flavour by a process called "sourcing".
There are a wide variety of kosher salts on the market today. Many are naturally occurring and harvested right in the field. Others are harvested using industrial machinery. Hand-harvested sea salt and netarts bay are among the highest quality products on the market. For the environmentally conscious consumer, it is important to make sure you are choosing the most sustainable, natural and Eco-friendly salts available.