Ingredient of the Week: Himalayan Pink Mineral Salt

Pink Salt.jpg
What is it?
Mined from the base of the Himalayan Mountains in Pakistan, this prized rock salt ranges in color from light beige to deeper reds, depending on the mineral content. The more minerals the salt contains, the deeper the color.

Formed more than a quarter billion years ago during the Jurassic era, this salt is thought to have healing properties in addition to its culinary uses. It's also been used in bathwater for detox purposes. Whether it's clever marketing or an ancient holistic form of medicine or both, I've seen claims that pink salt can do anything from help your body absorb nutrients to help relieve symptoms of fever or herpes and other illnesses.

Pink salt is also harvested by hand, hand-crushed, hand-washed and dried in the sun before packaging and shipping.

How is it used?
This salt is used as much in flavoring foods as it is in spa treatments and baths whose enthusiasts claim that the 84 trace minerals found in the salt provide health benefits (minus the fact that if you eat too much, you'll have high blood pressure). Large blocks of the salt are also used to cook and quick-cure food.

Where can I buy it?
For flavoring food, you can buy small containers at Spec's on Smith as well as Central Market. Spec's will also be offering a Peruvian version of pink mineral salt in the near future, which will likely be less expensive.

Recipe:
Chocolate Truffles with Pink Salt: Courtesy of Whole Foods Market


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12 comments
juliarix
juliarix

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Pozpersonal
Pozpersonal

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mae
mae

Mark Kurlansky's latest work of fiction uses Himalayan Pink Salt as a kind of leit motif.

Jeb00f
Jeb00f

Many of the "Himalayan" salts arent even from the Himalayas but South America or Eastern Europe and thus all have different mineral contents and ratios as mentioned below.

The true salts from Pakistan however are also often spiked or altered. Interestingly only one source which is called the Original Himalayan Crystal Salt has been able to verify the mineral content that everyone talks about, the structure which is perfect and actually is the only one with clinical research proving many of the claims which are made.

For more information have a look at the book Water & Salt which actually refers to Original Himalayan Crystal Salt or this website www.himalayancrystalsalt.com

Kyle
Kyle

It's pretty cool stuff. Vic and Anthony's serves their steak tartare on a big slab of pink salt.

guest
guest

Amber, I'm curious as to what your criteria are when you're picking an ingredient of the week. Are you going for something that you personally like something that is just novel that you've heard about? Do you take suggestions? If so, I've got some polynesian seasonings that have geeked me up recently.

H_e_x
H_e_x

I challenge anyone to a blind taste test with this salt and regular table salt.

Jim Ayres
Jim Ayres

I wonder if the pink salt sold in grinders at places like Marshall's and Tuesday Morning is Himalayan and/or any good.

Am_Bro_Se
Am_Bro_Se

Well, guest, I am open to just about anything! It's usually just something I find shopping during the week that peaks my interest. Please tell me more about these seasonings.

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

That's a good question. I got some recently and have been unsure of how to tell the difference. Pink salt can come from a lot of other places besides the Himalayas...

Am_Bro_Se
Am_Bro_Se

Essentially, it probably doesn't matter where it comes from - if it's pink, it contains all the minerals that Himalayan salt does (although I'm making a broad generalization here). Peruvian pink salt is supposed to be the next "big" salt, but will be a lot less expensive than the Himalayan kind...

Rgwalt
Rgwalt

Other pink salts won't contain ALL of the minerals of the Himalayan salt, and the ratios will be different, too. It is likely one or a few of the minerals that give the salt its pink color.

Try smoked salt to really add some flavor to grilled meats!

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