Sodium Chloride (NaCl) supplemented with Iodine, known as table salt to non-nerds, is the salt most commonly found in home kitchens, processed food, and restaurant tables. But yuck! The only thing it’s good for is causing hypertension (and, ya know, preventing goiter, I guess). I much prefer kosher salt or sea salt for just about everything.
Sea salt is from the sea… duh. I use it for cooking sometimes, but usually I use finely ground for baking and coarse ground as “finishing” or table salt. Kosher salt was initially used for “koshering”, which is a process to draw blood out of meat to preserve it and make it suitable for Kosher food laws.
Kosher salt is flaked, rather than cubes, which helps it stick to surfaces better. This helps season more evenly. Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt, the brand favored by many chefs (including Alton Brown and America’s Test Kitchen), is formed as course crystals with a layered structure. This is a neat phenomenon that allows the cook to control exactly how much is released when sprinkling on food, since the crystals break apart into flakes as the fingers rub together. It also has no additives, which is always nice.
As for a salt to serve at the table, I LOVE Maldon sea salt, but FalkSalt is another good widely-available option. There has recently been a renaissance of available specialty salts, so have fun trying a few and adding them to your food!
That’s it for now, class… any questions?