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What Is “Kosher Salt”?

What Is “Kosher Salt”?

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Question:

What makes salt kosher? What’s the difference between “kosher salt” and regular table salt?

Answer:

Salt is a mineral, and as such, pure salt is always kosher. Some brands of salt have a kosher symbol on the package, and that way you know that a reliable kosher certification agency is checking to make sure that nothing else gets mixed in to the salt and that it’s 100% kosher.

So, what exactly is “kosher salt”?

In truth, the name “kosher salt” is misleading. A better term would be “koshering salt.”

Blood is not kosher. G‑d commands us in the Torah:1 “You shall not eat any blood, whether that of fowl or of beast, in any of your dwellings.” After a kosher animal is properly slaughtered, all blood must be removed. This is normally accomplished by salting the meat, as salt draws out blood. Table salt is too thin and will dissolve into the meat without drawing out the blood, and salt that is too coarse will roll off. The salt that is “just right” for koshering meat is called “kosher salt.” Some people prefer to use it in certain recipes because of its consistency.

Click here for more about the salting of meat.

All the best,

Rochel Chein for Chabad.org

FOOTNOTES
1.

Leviticus 7:26.

Mrs. Rochel Chein is a member of the chabad.org Ask the Rabbi team.
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Discussion (27)
September 8, 2013
salt taste
Leaving aside my earlier comment about crystal size and the posting about dangers of high bromine salt, different salts have slightly different tastes depending on co-precipitation of trace elements. The salt
mined under Detroit from an incredibly ancient salt sea has a slightly different flavor than that sun dried from the margins of different oceans, and certain chefs have different preferences.

In fact, one could prepare salt by repeated chrystalization to reduce trace minerals, but I do not know of anyone who does so, nor can I see any halakhic issue.
Anonymous
48823
September 8, 2013
Salt: that is Kosher
is definitely larger in terms of grain and coarse in terms of texture. The regular table salt is fine, like sugar, and in fact, it's hard to tell, by just looking, with the naked eye, what is refined sugar from salt. I believe Kosher salt has a different taste from regular salt, but of course, salt is salt. And salty is the result. I often purchase salt that is Ocean salt, and it has more grain, being unrefined.

Salt came up for me today, and I wrote about SALT on FB and then this reappeared. I know there's a story here, and it could be, one day people will cross connect the story I am putting down, and see I don't lie about my life. Why would I/

Salt and the Covenant is what I wrote about, and all meanings of salt. Maybe it's our "Lot" in life, to experience the bittersweet. I believe, all stories, do have a language-based connection, and that's what I have been scribing, down the lines on Chabad, for conservatively some hundreds of responses.

Shalom Chaverim.
ruth housman
marshfield hills, ma
September 5, 2013
kosher salt
OK, enough of kosher salt being pure, and drawing off blood, etc. All I want to know is, is there a difference in the texture, or taste intensity (over regular table-salt) when it comes to cooking?

Thanks
mac burnett
texas
August 27, 2013
Salt
It feels sometimes like salt being poured on wounds, a way, no doubt, an ancient way, of keeping the wound clean, but this hurts, and so we have this phrase. I often wonder, as I do today, as we approach our Jewish New Year, why it is, we feel, as Jews, that we have it all, as in The Answer, and that we are the blessed Ones? Yes, being Jewish I honor our tradition and story, but also I remember my namesake was not Jewish, and she followed Naomi, for love, just that. And no doubt that is the reason she changed her religion. And then, there is a beautiful story that has everything to do with Messianic lineage and Ruth, if you read the Book of Ruth.

I find it very salty at times, to read about how it's a Jewish Messiah, and also a man, and also what is written. Because my life took me on a path, that said, G_d is capable of anything, and that is even pulling the wool over our eyes. Because I believe that Ruth contains the keys to a profound and beautiful story, and that meaning lies here.
ruth housman
marsfhield hills, ma
August 25, 2013
The Word Jew
Wouldn't it be more appropriate to state when "non Jewish people" use the term it has usually been in a derogatory manner? My husband is from Manitoba, Canada and heard it usedt often. He honestly did not realize it was offensive. I grew up in the northeastern United States and knew otherwise.
Lily
Leamington, Ontario
August 2, 2013
Kosher salt
I plead guilty to being addicted to THE FOOD NETWORK TV channel and, indeed, we have adapted a number of their recipes in our shomer kashrut home.

One funny moment was when one of their chefs was explaining the way to salt one of their pork dishes with “kosher salt”/aka kashering salt.

There is actually a very good reason for using this salt: the crystal size gives one a tactile feedback on how much salt you are adding. I have heard this explanation from several of their chefs and found that this procedure is much preferable to using fine-grained table salt.

B’teavon
Donald Weinshank
Michigan
July 17, 2013
in response to Moyshe
I have to add that I was horrified recently when a co-worker told me that "someone was trying to Jew them down in price". You would not know that I am Jewish by name or appearance, but nevertheless I AM Jewish...... I wasn't sure how to react other than shock and to say, "I prefer to use the term, "negotiate". I wouldn't want anyone to think you were discriminating". I really didn't think anyone still used that term......
Anonymous
California
July 12, 2013
A good explanation from Mrs. Chein
I think Mrs. Chein explained this beautifully.

Right now, "Kosher salt" is a trendy ingredient. I see kosher salt proudly featured in recipes of all kinds, including many for dishes that are as treif as it's possible for food to be.

It would be easy for someone who doesn't understand kashrut to mistakenly think that food containing "kosher salt" (ie salt used for kashering) is actually kosher, and to present the food as kosher.

In fact, it's possible for "kosher salt" to be unkosher, even if it was initially kosher (in the case of salt, kosher just means uncontaminated, since there's no kashering process for salt).

If a piece of pork somehow falls into a cannister of "kosher salt," then the "kosher salt" is not kosher anymore.

One person here stated that "kosher" means "blessed." This incorrect. As the article stated, certified Kosher food is supervised to ensure the laws are properly followed. It doesn't start out unkosher and become kosher though prayer.
Mira
New York
July 11, 2013
The salinity of The Dead Sea
makes us buoyant when we take a dip. I will say, unequivocably, The Dead See.
You may not believe what I know is true. There is a far far greater story that forms a ring around our lives.

For thank you, Merci
For oceanic, Mer See
For love, Mercy
ruth housman
marshfield hills, ma
July 11, 2013
Salting non-Kosher meat
The prohibition of consuming blood is different for Jews and gentiles.

The prohibition in Genesis 9:3-4 concerning the consumption of blood was directed to Noahides, meaning gentiles. As it states there, "every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. But meat with its soul, its blood, you shall not eat.".

The laws prohibiting consumption of blood in Leviticus 7:22-27 were directed to the Jewish people specifically. Jews were restricted additionally to those specific living creatures enumerated in the five books of Moses.

There was a technique of drinking the blood of living animals as a means of preserving the meat longer while still being able to derive sustenance from the animal. It is still practiced today in certain parts of Africa among the cattle herding tribes. There were also practices of removing individual limbs while keeping the animal alive, again to preserve the meat. This is still practiced today in parts of Asia.

The salting is only a detail on removing blood.
Yaacov
Philadelphia
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