In addition to fresh whole spices, spice grinders can also be used for salt. With so many varieties of salt on the market today, we are no longer limited to regular table salt. Technically, the term used to describe a large percentage of salts is crystal salt. The differences in taste, shape and colour come from where the salt has been mined from land or sea. Table salts often have added chemicals included in their composition, while mined salts sourced from natural mines or from the sea are often considered purer.
While the debates will likely continue on whether or not ‘pure’ salts have any major benefits, what you can be sure of is that all salts have their own unique taste and their own ability to enhance your meals.
To help you learn a bit about what sales you can add to your salt grinder, we have put together a list on some of the salt varieties that are available in South Africa.
Add These Salts to Your Salt Grinder
Every foodie could do with some variety now and then, which is why it is always a good idea to invest in a few good quality salt grinders to store and grind your favourite salts. As for what type of salt you can choose from, we suggest trying some of these varieties…
- Himalayan salt. Also known as pink salt, the current salt du jour is rock salt that comes from the Punjab region of Pakistan. The foothills of the salt range are located 310km from the Himalayas. Many crystals have an off-white or even clear colour, while the pink colour seen in this salt comes from impurities that are non-harmful for consumption. Coarse pink salt goes well with every type of food and has the added advantage of looking good in your grinder, too.
- Sea salt. This type of salt is mined from the ocean, or from salt water lakes. There is very little processing involved in the production of this salt, which is produced through evaporation of sea water. Depending on where the salt water comes from, a number of trace minerals and elements are left behind, adding flavour and colour to the salt. Sea salt is available in various levels of coarseness, but even large chunks can easily be ground in a spice grinder. This salt is also versatile for cooking and meals.
- Kosher salt. You may have heard this term before. Also known as koshered salt, this salt is an unrefined salt that has large, coarse flakes. This salt is extremely versatile and can be used for seasoning as well as cooking. There are many different varieties of kosher salt available, too, including sea salt and rock salt.
- Desert salt. In South Africa, the desert landscapes of the Kalahari have revealed an ancient underground lake that is fed by subterranean streams. Salt water from this lake has been sustainably harvested and evaporated on a pan using natural processes. There are a few brands offering desert salt from this region – as long as the salt is harvested sustainably, they are all worth trying.
- Other salts. While not all of these salts are mined locally, you may come across more exotic salts that have been imported into South Africa. Hawaiian salt is an unrefined sea salt mixed with red volcanic clay. It has an unusual pinkish brown colour that is produced by the red clay. This salt is not cheap however – and not all of it is authentic and produced in Hawaii. Another unusual salt is black lava salt, which is sea salt that is harvested and coloured with activated charcoal.
Whichever type of salt you love the most, keeping it fresh in a good quality spice grinder will ensure that it’s always ready to grind, whenever you need it.