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Do Palestinians use Kosher salt?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
No to get political but its a good general question I believe. And as course, as always, no offense to the religion of Judiasm.

Kosher salt is supposed to be the choice of chefs, the best. I cannot see anyone in the kitchen that is anti-semetic using Kosher salt. Do they make special boxes with the Magen David covered up?

On a more tepid burner:

Is there a competitor to Kosher salt in anti Israeli countries and how does it stack up?

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post #2 of 13
Kevin,

There's a ton of misinformation either expressly in your post, or as unstated assumptions underlying other things which were stated.

Kosher salt is not kosher in the sense that it's been blessed or has any particular religious significance. It's only kosher in the sense that it's used for the "kashering" process. That is, it sticks to wet surfaces well and doesn't dissolve easily.

As to dietary laws, there's no special salt or magic words. As long as it's not contaminated by something which is non-kosher, even the most observant practitioner of kashrut is good to go.

As a practical matter, kosher salt is good as a rub and as a finishing salt, primarily for its ability to stand up to moisture. It's also useful on the counter because it's coarse and easy to "pinch." Otherwise, it's ordinary salt. If you're using it in solution (for instance to boil vegetables), it's only difference from table salt is cost.

BDL
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Forgive any unintentional offenses, I tried my best.

So would it be fair to assume there is a counterpart to Kosher Salt that is better than regular salt that could be found in a very anti-Israel kitchen.

We all know there are enemies of Israel but I have heard this is the best salt. Is it bought under a different name in America. Mortons has the star of David on it.

I am just curious about this and want to get the answer as best I can. Sure it maybe sensitive but does that mean we hid it in the dark?

I know that is not your intention,to avoid the topic, and forgive my tenacity.
post #4 of 13
Yes. As a flavor salt is salt, unless there's something else in it. Kosher salt is pretty much unadulterated; although some, like Morton's, have anti-caking additives. Salts which by virtue of their resistance to dissolution could very well function as "kosher" are frequently not sold as "kosher;" by way of one example out of many, run of the mill coarse sea-salt. Of course you're curious. Good thing, too. You're talking about a topic I PMd you about, and we're best off if we keep it restricted to that venue. You've made the necessary edits. Whatever wanted forgiveness was forgiven and is already forgotten.

Shy, timid and reticent though I may be, I've addressed the topic without avoidance. If there's anything I can do to further satisfy your curiousity I'll be glad to do it.

A su servicio,
BDL
post #5 of 13
Kosher salt isn't necessarily the best salt.

Most chefs use it because it's not iodized and doesn't carry that metaliic mediciney taste many people detect in iodized salt. Nor does it have other additives.The pinchability and other features of it are a bonus, but its mostly about taste. Plus its' easy to see as you sprinkle it on.

It was largely sold for home koshering, thus kosher salt. Or kashering as above, but I wouldn't know anything about the proper religious terminology or aspects.

But that doesn't stop everyone who makes a specialty sea salt from offering large flakes of kosher sea salt. Which in many ways defeats the purpose of a pure salt without anything else in it.

You'll hear TV chef's talk about how it tastes more salty and such but most of those haven't really done taste tests but are passing on what they've heard, and lots of other misinformation.

It's not used for table seasoning in general. This is where the fancy sea salts and such come into play as their nuances won't be lost in the fury of cooking.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #6 of 13
As to the politico-business aspects of it, international businesses have different packaging and inspection labeling to allow their product the best chance of success in that market.

You'll find many familiar faces in a new disguise.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #7 of 13
Phatch,

Sorry for the correction, but Morton Kosher Salt, and a few other "kosher" brands contain an anti-caking agent -- in the case of Morton's and most others it's yellow prussiate of soda. Some people -- a lot in fact, and me among them -- claim they can taste the difference between Morton and an unadulterated brand such as Diamond. Some kosher salts are mined, others are sea salts. IIRC, Morton is mined.

It's interesting to note that many (but not all) "kosher" salts, including Morton, are made by dissolving crushed salt and evaporating it into the desired crystal size and shape. DIY sea salt, I guess. Others, of course, are derived from ocean water which is evaporated only once and in the usual ways.

Also, I think that the size and geometry of the crystal play a role in taste, as they relate to rate of dissolution in the mouth. Those which sit on your tongue and dissolve slowest seem to pack the most taste per unit weight.

Some salts are "naturally" adulterated -- like gray salt from Brittany, and pink and black salts from Hawaii -- and that little bit of native soil can make a very interesting addition to their flavor profiles. Can they be used for koshering? Don't know.

BDL
post #8 of 13
Palestinians are not enemies of Israel, in fact Palestinians and Arabs have similar dietary restrictions to Jews, instead of Kosher, there meat is considered Halal, and many meats can be Kosher and Halal, or Kosher/Halal Style. In general most Palestinians and Arabs won't mind having Kosher salt on their shelf.

As far as enemies of Israel, such as Hezbollah, Al Queda, and other terrorist groups, I'm not sure how many of them are terrorists/chefs but you are right, its unlikely there will be a box of salt on their shelf with a big star of David on it. In that case they probably use sea salt or another kind of coarse grain non iodized salt.
post #9 of 13
I never found any kosher salt here in Rome, but they sell salt from Trapani, which, I swear, tastes better than any other salt i've tasted. I can tell the difference. Diamond crystals, however, give a nice crunch, which is very different from the "coarse salt" they sell here, which is hard.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #10 of 13
Also, I think that the size and geometry of the crystal play a role in taste, as they relate to rate of dissolution in the mouth.

Which is more true when it's used as a finish salt, wouldn't you say? F'rinstance, if you make pretzels, and sprinkle some with "regular" salt and some with kosher salt, there will be a taste difference for the reasons you gave.

There's also the question of quantity, which contributes to the salt taste. Volume for volume, kosher salt weighs less. So there's actually less salt being added when using volume measurements, which makes the dish taste less salty. Some palates might interpret that as better tasting.

Some salts are "naturally" adulterated -- like gray salt from Brittany, and pink and black salts from Hawaii --

Have to laugh at this, cuz I was recently taken to task for making that very point about the "gourmet" finish salts. Ten years ago they would have been fined for selling these adulterated products; today they charge a premium for them.

Ahhhh. The wonderful world of culinary fashion. :lol:
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #11 of 13
Kosher Salt is Parve
CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #12 of 13
I don't use kosher salt here in the UK. I use Maldon (much favoured by chefs from Ramsay to jamie oliver. I also use fleur de sel.
post #13 of 13
I worked in a hospital kitchen where all they had was kosher salt. We had another cook there who had made some soup that when served was horribly salty. When called on the carpet for it, he said it tasted fine when he put it in the walk-in the day before and asked me several questions about if I'd done anything with it. It finally occurred to me that without coming right out and saying it, he was accusing me of sabbotaging his soup. I said I hadn't been anywhere near it and had enough to worry about getting my own stuff done without concerning myself with his. This happened to him two or three times and no one could figure out what was going on. I had never had any prior experience with kosher salt, so I was slow to pick up on what was happening. I finanly figured it out. He would add the salt to whatever he was making, taste (before it dissolved) and add more because he couldn't taste it. When he thought he had it right, he'd put whatever he was making away, and the salt would dissolve while it sat and would be so strong later that no one could eat it. That's why a lot of chefs won't allow kosher salt on the line, because of people like him who don't know how to handle it. The same reason I keep the cayenne off the spice rack and only I get to use it. People tend to go overboard and ruin things.
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