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The Pantry Quiz #26

Salt, on The Pantry Quiz.

Do you know?

Which contains more sodium, a teaspoon of Morton's table salt or a teaspoon of Hawaiian pink sea salt?


Please leave your answer in the comments, and let us know whether you have this ingredient in your pantry.

[Last week's answer: The Scoville Scale measures the heat of peppers, from green bell pepper to Scotch bonnet, and every pepper in between.]

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Both table salt and sea salt are composed of sodium chloride. The differences between them come from the processing. Table salt is mined and must be cleaned and additives are added to assist pouring and sometimes iodine for thyroid problems. Sea Salt is naturally occuring and is processed through evaporation giving us the minerals that occur naturally along with it. Teaspoon for teaspoon may only differ because the sea salt is a larger crystal.

I vote for Pink Salt.

I get a grinder of Himalayan Pink Salt at Trader Joes and it's delicious. There's much more flavor than regular table salt and I don't have to use as much.

A teaspoon of Morton's contains more sodium than a teaspoon of sea salt and that is because a teaspoon of Mortons weighs more so there is more salt in the teaspoon hence more sodium. We pastry chef's know that there are differences in amounts when weighed and as a rule we weigh everything for consistent results as opposed to using spoon and cup measurements which can vary widely. Generally however, table and sea salt have approx the same sodium content with the difference being that table salt is stripped of it's natural minerals and contains things like anti-caking agents which are added during processing but sea salt retains much of it's mineral content during the natural drying process and does not contain additives however it contains less iodine.

I'm going to guess the Morton's, because of the size. I have neither in my pantry.

Hawaiian? Morton is supposed to be low sodium, isn't it? I know none of these salts and have not seen them in Barcelona! But Morton's looks fine!

I see the smart people have already been here... To Carme -- salt by definition is a major source of sodium, since it is sodium chloride, regardless of source or processing. As for crystal size, I know that Himalayan salt can be in solid, large rock form, coarsely ground or fine -- but if the Hawaiian salt is evaporated from sea water, it is likely to have fairly coarse crystals. Maine Sea Salt is 54.6% sodium, 34.5% Chloride... good bit of trace minerals, thus less sodium than 'table salt,' I assume. Just some material for musing.

The bigger the crystal, the less sodium by volume. So my vote for higher sodium goes to good old fashioned ground table salt. Now pass the water!

Morton's - solely because the crystals are much smaller than the Hawaiian salt, so you can fit more sodium into the spoon. I have both - and many others - in my pantry.

Well, I know my canister of Mortons table salt has more sodium than my Diamond Crystal kosher salt because the kosher salt is a larger, more irregular crystal which doesn't pack into the measuring spoon as tightly as the table salt. My bag of Hawaiian non-pink salt (carefully hoarded for Kalua Pig) is even larger than the kosher salt, so my guess is it would contain even less crystals per teaspoon.

This is fun, Lydia!

Hmmm... I can't wait for the answer!

I am a transplanted Rhode Islander now living in Honolulu. No respected Hawaii resident would not have Alaea (red/pink) sea salt or white Hawaii sea salt in their pantry.

BTW natural Hawaii sea salts are graded by size small, medium and large grain as this would throw a wrinkle in how much salt can fit in the teaspoon verses the machined chemically processed Morton’s salt. Alaea sea salt is considered by ancient Hawaii natives as a sacred salt.

There will be less sodium in the Hawaii natural Alaea sea salt than in the machined chemically processed Morton’s salt.

FYI, Hawaii is the only state in the nation to commercially grow, world-recognized coffee, world celebrated and renowned single-estate cacao (chocolate), vanilla, cinnamon, macadamia nuts, ½ worlds supply of pineapple and the largest producer in U.S.A. of seed corn with a 365 day growing season.

Hmmm. I'm guessing Morton's because it's refined. Sea salt will contain a lot of other minerals and naturally occuring compounds so, weight for weight, would contain less sodium. I think...

The crystals are much smaller than the Hawaiian salt, so you can fit more sodium into the spoon. the bigger the crystal, the less sodium by volume.

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