Enigmatic name, but really accurate to describe an ingredient present and used in every kitchen, in the chefs’ as in the one of the most humble housewives, from north to south, from east to west: the salt.

Anytime in our lives both in the natural state and in food industry items,salt is the first ingredient used to flavor ourfood.This, in spite of the awareness about its excessive use that may lead to some disease.Your dish can be well made and good looking, but if you will be bland tasting your efforts will come to naught.Just like an over-salting will make the same meal disgusting.

Salt makes difference in any cooking.We need experience to find the right balance. You are not allowed to disregard the importance of something that nature provides to flavor our dishes. In fact, you can make use of theherbs suchas basil, rosemary, sage and thyme .Orspices such as chilly, pepper, curry, ginger, cinnamon and cardamom. Do not forget  lemon and vinegar.

Yet, within the universe of salt you can find resources that grant your culinary “creations” a new appeal, both from flavor and from aesthetic point of view.
The sea salt,we use every day, is extracted from the sea in saline, transported to the refinery and treated (washed, purified , and often combined with anti-caking chemical agents to prevent moisture absorbing and lumps creating).
The environment grant us , however, many other kinds of salt,from the mines and not only from the sea. Millions of years ago, during the creation of mountain chains, tons of salt water were trapped on the mainland, leaving deposits of salt and minerals.

Here are 6 ones among the most popular types of salt and used in the cooking:

  • Himalayan Pink Salt: Reputed the best salt in the world, is a fossil marine salt formed more than 200 million years ago. Picked by hand in mine Khewra, Kashmir in Pakistan, it is stone ground and untreated; it is the only salt that in addition to sodium chloride has 84 trace elements. Rich in zinc, copper, iron , potassium and calcium has a color that goes from soft pink to orange. Its flavor is much more delicate compared to the standard salt; it does not cover the taste of the food, but rather enhances them combining with any meal. The texture is “crisp” and it is digested by the intestine faster.
  • Hawaiian Red Salt: extracted from Alaea sea water, volcanic red clay that goes directly into the sea and makes this salt of a deep red color. It is 5 times richer in iron than the common salt, so it is recommended in those who suffer from anemia. It has a full-bodied flavor with a slight aftertaste of toasted hazelnuts and it is perfect for fish and grilled meats, roasts and to be pounded with herbs. Its appearance makes it easy to be used in cooking to decorate dishes.
  • Hiwa Kai Hawaiian Black Salt: besides the red salt, Hawaii Islands offer us a black salt that is hand-mined and hand-crafted on the island of Molokai. After being removed from the water, the salt is mixed with active carbon plant and purified volcanic lava. The result is an amazing black staple enriched with many mineral salts, and suitable to make the functioning of the digestive system easy. The flavor of this black salt is bitter, dry, with notes of smoke and fits well with meat, especially with grilled fish. Widely used as a decorative element in any cooking.
  • Japanese Aguni Salt: comes from a remote Japanese island and is created by the interaction of  sea, wind, sun and  by a slow drying process on bamboo wood. Thanks to these elements, the Aguni salt has a pleasant and smooth taste and it beats the effects of an excessive caffeine intake.
  • Indian Kala Namak Salt: This Salt is native of Central India;  for thousands of years it had been using in Ayurvedic medicine due to its therapeutic values. Its consistency is totally different from what we have been making use of ; in fact, it is soft and fluffy. Although this salt is incorrectly called “black”, has colors ranging from pink to purple to dark gray. Rich in sulfur, it has a very strong smell, but thanks to this element, has also important digestive properties. Widely used in Indian traditional ethnic cuisine and is also suitable for soups and fries.
  • Black SaltCyprus: is collected from water surrounding Cyprus island and it is enriched with charcoal produced from softwood bark burning (linden, birch, willow) that makes the black color. This salt has a strong absorbency used in intestinal disease treatments, toxic poisoning, making it a mild detoxifying salt. The Cyprus black salt has a less intense flavor than a common salt; its flakes, pyramid-shaped concave, are crispy and light. It is much appreciated by connoisseurs of cuisine due to its delicacy and lightness.

These 6 types of salt are just a small part of the worldwide variety. Each salt takes on any feature of the origin area, scatters smells and tastes of those traditional places, giving any meal an exotic appeal , a “far away” sense.

Think about it: you are discussing with your guests around your table and you already got your Filotea egg pasta, just ready for your beaf with your “different” salts. You can tell them its origin area, its qualities, why you choose those salts: will definitely be an extra weapon which you can use to succeed in your dinners with friends of yours!
So, paying anytime attention to the amount used, hurry up and tell us your experience: have you ever tasted these types of salt? Do you know others?