Kosher salt is the type of salt that has been passed on from generation to generation. Technically, any naturally occurring salt can be called kosher, but only kosher salt has to do with Jewish dietary laws. This type of salt has traditionally been used as a part of Jewish food preparation and ritual. Nowadays, however, kosher salt is used more like a table salt than as part of a Jewish ritual. Butchers prefer kosher salt because it contains less fat and the minerals found in regular table salt are not lost in this type of salt.
The first and most important main difference between kosher salt and regular salt is the manufacturing process. Kosher salt is produced by removing the part of the salt solution that contains the grain. Most of the salt solutions that are available in grocery stores have all of the grain removed before they are made into salt. Many kosher salts will be labeled as having "no grain", which gives customers an idea that what they are purchasing is truly kosher. However, by removing the grain, Kosher salt maintains the original flavor and texture of the product, while regular salt may change the texture slightly.
Another difference is in the way the salt is tested for quality. Regular salt is tested by placing the meat or fish in a vat with the solution and seeing if the solution splashes or seeps into the meat. If it does, then the salt is good, and the meat will do normal functions. With kosher salt, however, no such testing is done, so the salt simply tastes better because there is no grain left to destroy.
There are other differences as well, such as in how the two compare when it comes to their ability to enhance taste and retain their fresh flavor long after the food has been cooked. Salt is generally lower in magnesium and calcium than is table salt, so kosher salt tends to have a higher sodium concentration. This means that sea salt is healthier and actually better for you to eat on a regular basis because it is lower in harmful substances than regular table salt. You'll also find that kosher salt tends to be darker in color, which helps to bring out the flavor of the salt, as well as enhance its freshness.
Sea salt has a very smooth texture, while kosher salt tends to be more textured. This makes for a unique and delicious flavor when it is used in foods that need a smooth texture, such as vegetables and cheese. It is important to realize that the two kinds have different effects on various foods. For example, sea salt will draw out juices and liquids from meats and can therefore be used to preserve them longer. Regular table salt tends to leave a salty residue on any surface it touches, so it is not recommended for use on cuts of meat that will be used for roasting.
The next time you buy kosher salt or look at a recipe that calls for regular table salt, think about whether it would be better to substitute kosher salt for regular table salt. There are many reasons why you may want to do this, depending on where you live. Many people in areas where sea salt is more abundant find it to be much better for their tastes. However, sea salt is also more expensive than kosher salt, which can make using kosher salt for cooking a bit more expensive than you'd like. If you happen to live in a city with an abundance of sea salt and don't mind paying more for your salt, then by all means choose to use regular table salt instead.
The thing that most chefs agree on is that sea salt is much healthier than kosher salt. The reason for this is that sea salt contains more minerals and nutrients, which provide more overall health and wellness to your food. As far as taste goes, kosher salt really doesn't stand out at all from sea salt. Of course, this depends on where you eat. In heavily industrialized nations, sea salt is used more often because it's readily available and therefore becomes more common and part of daily life.
If you're new to kosher salt or haven't cooked with kosher salt before, it can actually be a beneficial experience. This is because sea salt tends to help with the seasoning of foods. This helps make foods taste better, as well as add to their nutritional value. By seasoning your dishes with kosher salt, you'll be adding a lot of extra nutrition to them without having to spend a lot of extra time doing so. However, if you have already cooked with regular table salt and are used to the flavor, then you may find that you enjoy using sea salt more, as it provides a more robust flavor than kosher salt doesn't have.