All Salt is Sea Salt

Check it out, SEA SALT!

Check it out, SEA SALT!

OK I’ll put an asterisk in the title because I suppose some salt can come from dried up lake beds but really, doesn’t this drive other geologists nuts?

This afternoon I was following a recipe that suggested I use Himalayan Sea Salt because normal table salt is apparently bland and from a lab and totally unhealthy and carcinogenic or something. According to a few minutes of self righteous and annoyed googling I’ve found that some people define sea salt as salt produced directly from evaporating sea water (modern day) but that doesn’t explain the 20$ a pound “Himalayan Sea Salt” unless of course someone found some Tethyan water laying around. Salt that is mined, be it in Utah or Michigan or Poland or wherever exists in large deposits formed by the evaporation of sea water, often tens to hundreds of  millions of years ago… you know, SEA SALT. Road salt is sea salt, Safeway salt is sea salt, all salt is sea salt! It seems like Lake Salt would actually be a more useful fancy identifier, I am sure there are some salt deposits in lake beds that can be mined. Next foodie craze, LAKE SALT!

Oh but Himalayan Sea Salt is all natural and pink so it must be better….It is pink because it contains Iron Oxide, you know, RUST. If you want some rust just stop drying your cast iron pan for a bit, BOOM, I just saved you 20$ a pound on pink salt. And guess what, Himalayan Sea Salt is also mined from evaporite deposits, just like all of the other salt you buy. Neither one is healthier, they are essentially identical from a nutritional point of view which of course makes sense since they are the same damn thing.

I am naturally suspect of many foodie claims but I highly doubt that anyone has a refined enough palate to pass a double blind taste test.

We secretly switched the bland generic Morton salt Thermochronic used to make scrambled eggs with 20$ a pound pink Himalayan Sea Salt…..

And even if you can, can’t you think of a more descriptive name? What is next, water-ice? You know, when I wrote that last sentence I thought it was going to sound totally absurd but then I remembered that people actually buy bottled water from Fiji, on purpose, so never mind.

I understand that the shape and texture of the salt can be important, and sure maybe you want to avoid anti-caking agents for some questionable reason, this is why I also have coarse salt on hand, but it’s origin is all the same, the ocean. Sea Salt can join the list of other made-up identifiers like Corinthian Leather designed to make people pay lots more for the same crap.

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One Response to All Salt is Sea Salt

  1. Mary Beth Metcalf says:

    We should run some double blind taste tests with plain vs iodized salt, too.

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