Himalayan pink salt is mined from the foothills of the Himalayan mountain range in the state of Punjab. The salt generally has a brownish pink tint due to impurities, but it is mostly used in cookery and food preparation. It's primarily used as table salt, but it's also often used as a cooking material and cosmetic item, decorative lamps and tableware, as well as spa treatments and as a natural stone for home countertops.
It may seem odd to use salt as a table product, as the common table salt we use in most homes is table salt. However, Himalayan salt has a distinctive crystalline structure, which makes it similar to table salt but much more powerful and dense. In fact, it can even be used as the main ingredient in dishes containing salt; for example, salt-water salmon kebabs.
There are several different types of salt on the market, all of which are created from deposits found deep within the earth. However, Himalayan salt has its own unique structure and properties, which mean that it is far superior to table salt in several ways.
Firstly, its high salt content – up to 10% – means that it doesn't contain any of the sodium nitrate which is commonly used in cooking (or that most table salt contains). This means that you won't find any of the common health problems which can result from eating too much sodium nitrate in your diet – including an increased risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.
Secondly, salt is an effective preservative, meaning that it will stop the bacteria that cause germs to grow from taking root in your food. So instead of storing your food in plastic bags or tins that allow these bacteria to thrive in the food (leading to the growth of mould and mildew), Himalayan salt keeps your food fresher by maintaining a protective environment in the foods we eat.
Thirdly, salt does not change the taste. It's commonly used to make salt-water pasta or pizza toppings, as well as being used to make some spa treatments and shampoos and bath gels. Salt makes a difference in the taste of food by raising its temperature slightly and absorbing certain flavour compounds.
Lastly, salt is often used to help improve the colour, appearance, smell, texture and flavour of foods. Many cookery schools use it to enhance their recipes, especially when cooking with herbs, spices or fruits, vegetables and meats.
For example, you may already know that salt is often used to add extra flavour and thickness to food. However, salt does not just make food taste better – it can also make it stronger and coarser, making dishes harder to cut and hold together.
You might also know that Himalayan pink salt is one of the only salts which doesn't react chemically with foods in any way. There are no chemical additives or preservatives added to Himalayan salt which means that you can use this salt without worrying about any reactions to its ingredients. – or the reactions of the salt to your food if you use it in cooking. You'll have an extremely pure, natural flavour which is very difficult to achieve with most table salt.
Salt is essential for many cooking recipes, but if you want to be able to use the best salt you can then Himalayan is by far the best salt. It's incredibly high in potassium, sodium and magnesium, as well as being incredibly pure and natural. It also has the reputation of being one of the healthiest salts you can find.