Kosher salt is a popular choice of salt for many people. Although there are several other varieties on the market, kosher salt is the salt that is used in most Jewish homes. Technically, any kind of salt may be called kosher, but only those salts made under strict kosher compliance are considered Kosher salt. However, kosher salt has nothing to do with kosher religious guidelines. It is simply a term used by non-Jewish people to identify a product as kosher when it bears the label.
The most notable characteristic of kosher salt is its fine, uniform grain and its ability to hold onto its shape after being pressed. This makes it an excellent choice for cooking. It will not absorb or release liquid during the cooking process, which makes it a safe alternative to using store-bought canned goods.
If you taste kosher salt on a piece of raw meat or a cracker, you will immediately notice the rich flavor. kosher salt does not have a "fishy" taste as sea salt does. It is salty and the flavor is fresh and rich. Unlike table salt, it does not have a charcoal flavor. It does not even have a sweet or salty taste. In fact, it has no taste at all, which is what makes it such a good alternative for many people.
There is really no other main difference between kosher salt and regular salt. The main difference lies in their mineral content and the way they are produced. Regular salt is produced with an ionic bonding process that involves large amounts of sodium chloride. Kosher salt, however, is made through a process called "saltillation". This process seals in the minerals, leaving behind the main flavor.
Another main difference between kosher salt and regular table salt is the bronzable quality. With kosher salt, if you put it in the water, it floats on the surface. This makes the salt somewhat more expensive than regular table salt because of the amount of work that goes into creating the salt crystals. However, most people agree that bronzable kosher salt is tastier and adds an extra layer of flavor to food. It also works well on pasta water, rice, potatoes, and cheeses.
A third main difference between kosher salt and regular table salt is that it can't be used as a substitute for ground beef seasoning. The salt must be ground beforehand to release the "baking soda" that gives meat that cheesy flavor. Many times, the flavor is overpowering, which results in a salty tasting dish instead of the desired salty flavor.
Another difference between kosher salt and regular table salt is its texture. Regular table salt is coarse and thick and often has a gritty texture. Kosher salt is more slippery and can produce a textured flavor when it is heated up. This texture can sometimes be undesirable, but it can also help with adding flavor to foods when it isn't chemically enhanced. For example, when tomatoes are included in a tomato sauce, the texture can help make the sauce taste more like real tomato instead of canned tomato.
There are some additional differences between kosher salt and regular table salt that aren't discussed here, including its use in gourmet cooking and for seasonings in certain dishes. Most sea salt and table salt have different shades of color and many chefs prefer the natural color of kosher salt. It has been used in gourmet cooking for hundreds of years. Today it continues to be used as a popular spice and in traditional Jewish foods as well. It is a great alternative to regular table salt and may someday be seen as an acceptable replacement. It will most likely remain a staple of Jewish cuisine for years to come.