As its name helpfully suggests, table salt is the standard salt you’ll typically find on tables in cafés and restaurants. It can be used to season food — such as sandwiches and wraps — and also when baking because the salt crystals are small and uniform in size which makes measuring nice and easy.
The common household staple also comes in handy for several DIY hacks, such as de-greasing pots and pans and deterring ants. Strange, but true!
Table salt is naturally evaporated sea salt that’s been crushed to form ultra-fine, easy-to-pour crystals. Usually, anti-caking agents are added to make table salt free-flowing and it’s often available to buy in plain or iodised form. Iodised salt was first invented in the early 20th century to address iodine deficiencies.
Ground salt is natural sea salt that you can buy in an easy-to-use grinder. It’s produced by evaporating water from the ocean or saltwater lakes and undergoes less processing compared with table salt.
Similar to table salt in terms of usage, it offers the additional benefit of adding texture (as well as taste) to a dish. Use it to season soups before serving or for adding flavour and a crunch to roasted vegetables and chips.
Sea salt flakes look beautiful and delicate, almost like snowflakes, making them an ideal finishing touch to any dish.
These clean, crisp crystals are created when seawater is filtered and then boiled until the salt crystallises. The flaky crystals can come in lots of different sizes and are ideal for adding a textural element to your meal.
Use them to season cooked pasta or salads, to add a delicious crunch to chocolate and caramel desserts (such as chocolate chip cookies!) or to salt and tenderise meat before barbecuing. They also make a great “table” salt if you’re having guests over to dinner. Sprinkle some flakes into a ceramic pinch pot and place on the table with your other condiments.
Rock salt’s large, pearly crystals make it an impressive, yet affordable way to present food when entertaining. Sprinkle some crystals onto a serving platter and then layer some fresh, juicy prawns or shucked oysters over the top for the perfect restaurant-style entrée.
Aside from plating up, rock salt can also be used in grinders as it has a slightly drier texture, making it easier to mill. For flavour-packed root vegetables, meat or fish, use these large crystals on the base of your baking tin and salt-roast your produce for a delicious, freshly-ground salt flavour. Last, but by no means least, rock salt can also be used to cure meat and seafood, such as salmon.
Pink Himalayan salt
Pink Himalayan salt is a natural rock salt that’s mined from the second largest salt mine in the world about 300km from the Himalayas — hence the name. The salt is beautifully (and naturally) coloured, ranging from a deep red or pinkish colour to an off-white tone.
With a strong salty taste, Pink Himalayan salt is best used to flavour soups, salads, vegetables, white meats and fish. Given its striking colour, it makes a good finishing touch to dishes. You’ll often see it used on top of edamame to give the steamed beans a flavorsome twist.