NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

June 11, 2014

Simply Delicious: Let's talk salt

EDITOR’S NOTE: Simply Delicious is a new column by Newburyport chef Jim Rogers, who will write monthly for the Port Home section about culinary topics and share seasonal recipes.

Is salt just salt? Well, there is iodized salt, sea salt, kosher salt and the “gourmet” imported salts sold in every tiny food boutique in America.

Necessary? No. Helpful? Yes.

There is no need to overload on salt, and no need to bust your budget spending $38.50 for a 1.2-ounce jar of Top of Form Amethyst Bamboo Salt. (Really, it exists!) You can buy sea salt and kosher salt in almost any grocery store, and it will enhance the flavors of your recipes.

What is the difference between sea salt and what is commonly called “table salt”?

Sea salt comes from the sea and is collected through the evaporation of seawater. It is processed minimally, if at all, and therefore maintains a lot of its natural minerals like magnesium.

“Table salt” is iodized salt. It is mined from salt deposits and processed to give it a fine texture. Additives are usually incorporated to prevent caking.

The American Heart Association says that one thing is important to note about all types of salt: Regardless of where they come from or how they are processed, they all contain the same amount of sodium.

So why use different types of salt?

Salt varies in flavor and texture. Some have a soft flavor, some are stronger. Some have crunch and add interesting texture to a dish.

Sometimes, a recipe only needs a dash of salt after cooking. If you use highly flavorful ingredients, you can eliminate the need for salt altogether.

This recipe is a great example. I hope you enjoy it.

Wild salmon with Castelvetrano olive winter vegetable caponata and aged balsamic soy glaze

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