Feb 1, 2013

Table Salt vs. Kosher Salt

Salt is another game day treat that goes on almost everything. The primary ingredient in each type is sodium chloride. US requires food-grade salt be a minimum of 97.5% pure.

Table salt usually contains an anti-clumping agent, like calcium silicate, and also iodine. Kosher salt usually does not contain either. In the old days, people used to put a few grains of rice in their salt shaker to keep the salt from clumping.

The main difference between Kosher salt and regular salt is the grain size, with table salt being much smaller, because Kosher salt is less processed.

Kosher salt is not called “Kosher” because the salt is certified as kosher, but because this type of salt was used in the process of koshering meat to remove surface blood from meat without making the meat too salty.

Incidentally, iodine was first added to salt commercially in the United States in 1924 by the Morton Salt Company at the request of the government, because people weren't getting enough iodine in their diets. This caused many people to develop goiters or swelling of the thyroid gland. The practice was taken from the Swiss, who began adding iodine to salt many years earlier. Today most people get enough iodine in their diets, but many government health agencies around the world still recommend adding it to salt.