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What is the Difference Between Sea Salt and Table Salt?

What is the Difference Between Sea Salt and Table Salt?

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You surely know that salt is an essential ingredient in both baking and cooking. We add it to enhance the taste of our dishes, preserve foods, and suppress bitterness. Usually, you will find out that recipes are calling for table salt, but there are some that recommend sea salt. Is there actually a difference between sea and table salt?

What is the Difference Between Sea Salt and Table Salt?

What is the Difference Between Sea Salt and Table Salt?


Before everything, you should know that all salt comes from the sea and that it’s all sodium chloride (NaCl). Even table salt comes from the seawater, and you should know that.

Table Salt

This type of salt is usually mined. Table salt is derived from deposits of older bodies of seawater that is now long gone and dried up. These deposits are first washed with water in order to dissolve the salt. This results in a form of a salt solution which is then put into a vacuum where the crystals are formed by evaporating.

Table salt has to be processed in order to strip it of all contaminants and minerals and to purify it. It’s then supplemented with other substances such as magnesium carbonate, silicon dioxide, and sodium aluminosilicate. Table salt usually consists of 98% sodium chloride, with only 2% of other substances. Sometimes, table salt is iodized. In this case, potassium iodide is added into the salt. Since the evaporation method is used in the process of making the table salt, it tends to be a little bit denser.

Sea Salt

We get sea salt by crystallizing the current seawater bodies. This can be done either by a quicker vacuum evaporation process or by open-air solar evaporation. Sea salts that are more expensive on the markets come from the second method. You will find sea salt to be sold as refined or unrefined.

Refined sea salt is washed to get rid of clay contaminants and trace minerals. This type is purified into a salt that’s very similar to the table salt. As already mentioned, sea salt is also sodium chloride. If it is not refined it will contain trace amounts of other materials or compounds, but it is still sodium chloride. Depending on the method used to dry and collect the sea salt, it can have a flakier texture.

The unrefined sea salt is not washed and this will cause it to have a grey color from clay and sediment impurities. Also, it can be coated in algae, trace minerals, and bacteria that are resistant to high levels of salt. All of these are contributing to a very complex flavor of unrefined sea salt. However, you have to remember the amount of salt you will put in your dishes. This will give you a good idea if these impurities are going to contribute to the flavor of your dish.

To conclude, sea salt and table salt are both sodium chloride. They both come from the seawater. The only thing that’s different is the process of making it. Sea salt can be refined or unrefined, and you can use whichever you think will give your dishes a better taste.

Now that you know the Difference Between Sea Salt and Table Salt, which do you prefer?

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