Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sea salt

One of the strangest fads in food is the embracing of sea salt. Even large hamburger chains are touting it as something 'healthy'. Why would it be healthier? Very trace amounts of minerals? Still it is 99% NaCl.
Yesterday I had my Cooking for Survivorship class, the topic being sweets in honor of Valentine's Day. The menu: black cherry-cranberry crisp with whole grains and that soy stuff thrown in, pita crisps (cut into little hearts)with a bizarre pico de gallo relish made from chopped radishes, hot peppers, green peppers, pineapple, mangoes, tomato  and cilantro..not bad but I would never have put those fruits and vegetables together and a carrot ginger soup made with almond milk. I said that the soup needed salt and a jar of sea salt was pushed my way. It appeared to be contaminated with sand and had brown specks throughout.not so nice looking. I wondered what sea this salt came from and read the label...Utah... which does not have a sea unless you call the Great Salt Lake one and no one would want to eat anything from that. The sea in question was underneath Utah millions of years ago, before 'modern day pollutants' and the supplier mines it for our use. Now if you asked me what I thought sea salt was, I would say that the molecules recently had spent sometime dissolved in within the past 10 years (salt does have a long shelf life) not millions of years ago. But today's seas are exposed to hazardous chemicals and this sea existed before that happened so that was the selling point. Hmmm.
Part of the crisp was made from 'vegan' cane sugar. Is there non-vegan cane sugar? Actually I was surprised the word sugar was used. In the same class, it has been referred to as concentrated, natural cane juice.

But I do like the people there and the recipes do taste good. I certainly need to be eating more healthily.So on that note, Happy Hour with the Moms tonight.


Shanna said...

I've heard sugar is not usually vegan since sugar companies use animal bone products to whiten it. Have fun tonight and hopefully you can finally relax. Looking forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks.

krisa said...

Salt mines--visited a salt mine while I was in Austria -1972.
I read that there is a salt mine underneath Detroit. I have the same salt from Utah. :)
I enjoy your posts; you are a teacher/professor imo.

Chez said...

Sue.. will not say much as I am out of my depth on the subject of sea salt from Utah.
Enjoy your night with the Moms!

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

Detroit still has its salt mines also from an ancient sea. In the sixties, they had tours but those are closed. The salt they haul out of there today is used on the local roads giving Michigan (and nearby Ohio)the name The Rust Belt. But the salt company hasn't seemed to think about marketing its product as a special food additive as the Utah folks have.

Was the place in Austria Hellbron?
I think I saw it on a Rick Steves' episode. I know that Salzberg means salt mountain.

krisa said...

I can't recall the city. I have a picture and probably the name of the salt mine is there. Will see if I can find it.


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