Rock Salt vs Sea Salt
Salt is a crystalline solid that is a very important ingredient of our food. In fact, we cannot even imagine food without salt. However, despite making our food tastier, salt can also cause health problems. There are many varieties of salt with rock salt and sea salt being considered as healthier alternatives than the common table salt. There are many who remain confused between the terms rock salt and sea salt and consider these varieties to be synonymous. Despite similarities, there are also differences that will be highlighted in this article.
In early times, salt was considered a very expensive commodity at par with gold and other precious objects. This was because salt was not produced in huge quantities and considered essential for the survival of human beings. Times have changed though, and today, salt is considered a demon in the world of nutrition and foods with most people trying to switch to a healthier variety of salt to stay away from ailments. Seasoning of foods with salt does not make it deadly. It is what gets added to your food or what gets deleted that is most important.
The common salt, also called table salt, is a refined version of rock salt. It is added to food items while cooking to add the salty taste. It is mainly sodium chloride, and when it occurs in the form of a mineral, it is called Halite or rock salt. It is found in hardware stores and grocery stores in large gunny bags and used for many different purposes. Rock salt has the same sodium chloride as in table salt, but it is coarser and has chunkier crystals that take a lot of time to dissolve. This is the reason why it is not used directly for cooking purposes. The reason why this salt is called rock salt is because it does not come from sea water but is rather mined from underground rock formations.
Rock salt is used to melt ice from roads after snowfall as it lowers the melting point of ice. This is the reason why it is also used to make ice cream at home. It is also preferred in preservation and pickling. There are many natural rock salt mines in the world with one in Pakistan being the largest natural rock salt mine in the world. The primary source of rock salt is the sea water that gets evaporated to leave behind NaCl.
Sea salt is the salt formed through evaporation of ocean water. It is basically sodium chloride though it also contains some other minerals. These minerals are called trace minerals as they are found in very small quantities and include magnesium, iodine, sulfur etc. It is also called kosher salt approved for cooking in Jewish recipes. Though sea salt contains 98% NaCl, it is nonetheless less salty than table salt. There are many proponents of sea salt who say that it is full of flavors and healthier than table salt.
What is the difference between Rock Salt and Sea Salt?
• Source of rock salt is underground mines whereas the source of sea salt is sea water.
• Sea salt contains many other minerals apart from sodium chloride and rock salt itself occurs in the form of a mineral called halite.
• Sea salt is not refined as table salt, and it contains sodium chloride in lesser percentage than table salt.
• Sea salt is considered more flavorful because of the presence of trace minerals.