So What’s Different About Himalayan Salt?
You’ve probably seen pink salt sitting on the shelf at your local supermarket, and maybe you’ve even read about the different benefits of using pink salt. However, there are some little-known facts about Himalayan salt that are less often told, but are totally worth knowing! Why is this? Himalayan salt comes from the northern regions of Pakistan, where the Himalayan mountain range begins. Little is known about this region and relatively few people visit there besides locals. In this article, we’ll shed light on some of these salty mysteries.
What Makes it Pink?
Himalayan salt has 84 trace minerals and naturally occurring iodine. One of those minerals happens to be iron oxide (aka, RUST!). This is where pink salt’s characteristic pink/orange color comes from. Don’t fret though, having some rust in our diet is not bad for us! Quite the contrary, it can be a great source of iron, which is the key mineral that helps carry oxygen in our blood cells. But… where did pink salt get all these minerals?
It’s old, VERY old…
It all goes back to the unique origins of this mineral. It started nearly 250 million years ago! Scientists believe that a large sea became land locked and evaporated under the sun. This evaporated sea left behind a vast plain of sea salt. The sea salt was rendered PINK because of a pink-colored-salt-loving bacteria that was present in the waters. These bacteria became infused into the salt, enriching it with lots of natural bio-available minerals.
This is why Himalayan salt is a lot higher in trace minerals than other types of salts and doesn’t need to have iodine added to it artificially, which makes it a great organic alternative to regular table salt.
From Mountain to Steak
However, this still leaves a question, exactly HOW does pink salt go from an untouched layer of sediment in the base of the Himalayas, to becoming a gourmet seasoning for that T-bone on your plate? Good question! As it turns out, the process is not that simple.
Unlike sea salt and table salt, which is either produced by chemical reactions or processed in large evaporation facilities, pink salt is extracted directly from deep within the mountains using TNT blasting. And sometimes, less often, through manual hand mining with pickaxes!
The best pieces are used as food-grade salt ,and the remaining pieces are re-purposed for agriculture. But all edible pink salt comes from Pakistan, so a great way to check whether your Himalayan salt is authentic or not is to read the product description. It should have “Made in Pakistan” written somewhere on it.
The Taste of Pink Salt
Authentic Himalayan rock salt is less sharp and stinging to the tongue than regular table salt. This is because it has a higher percentage of trace minerals and less sodium chloride. The minerals themselves also change the taste.
Himalayan salt can also be used for more than just culinary purposes: salt tiles, salt inhalers, salt cooking blocks and salt lamps. There are a lot of different uses for Himalayan salt, each one useful for a different situation.
Many people swear by their salt lamps and their pink salt grinders. The only way to know is to give it a try for yourself!
By Eddie Gilani,
The Salt Lamp Shop
Check out some of our favorite recipes where Himalayan salt makes it even better.