Another find at this year’s Housewares Show in Chicago was RealSalt, salt with a difference, a possibly better salt than what you are probably using.

Salt at the Housewares Show?  Yes, along with other foods in the Gourmet District called GoHo area. I just love this show!

I’ve probably seen them in past years at the show, but I just cannot recall.  This year, I paid closer attention, I guess, and I am glad I was more attentive!

As you may be aware, sea salt is said to be more healthful than the processed salt you are probably using now.  The scrubbed and altered, somewhat bitter table salt probably in your cupboard and that which you likely use daily is not the best for your body, according to many studies.  The buzz is about sea salt, but not all sea salts are created equal and not everyone is in agreement about the benefits of sea salt or any salt for that matter.

I learned that sea salt is not necessarily as you might imagine, that is, from today’s oceans and seas.  Once upon a time eons ago, what is now high or low dry land was, in some areas, once sea bottom. Then came violent volcanic eruptions, land mass shifts, plate shifts and other major upheavals, and the seas and lands were changed.  Where once flowed wet and salty seas became dry low lands, high lands and even mountainous regions covered over with rock and debris, locking in, sealing in the salt that became among what remained as evidence of once present seas.  Salt can be found on this dry land in the US as well as many other places on earth, even deep in mines at the base of the Himalayan Mountains!  Actual sea salt from areas that are, today, at or near salty sea water, may not be as naturally clean and pollutant-free as is the salt from ancient seas, mined from below the surface of what is now dry land, far from any sea water today.  It makes logical sense, doesn’t it?

Salt in its purest form is, primarily, sodium chloride.  What we buy in boxes today usually contains other added ingredients and is processed. Some of it does not contain iodine, generally accepted as essential to the diet in trace amounts.  RealSalt naturally contains iodine while not all others can make this claim.

Gourmet shops sell brands of ancient and often-colorful sea salt at a premium, but you don’t have to pay extreme prices for the real deal, as I learned.  At the RealSalt exhibit, I tasted their product, their All Natural Sea Salt product. The taste was milder, without any trace of harshness or bitterness.  It was actually flavorful and pleasant.

There, I made the decision to try it at home. And so I did just that.  What a variety there is!  Found at many regular stores as well as health food stores and online, the varieties of RealSalt translates into there being something for every taste, whether it’s granular or coarse (I like both – granular for the table and for cooking, as well as coarse for my salt mill and to add a pinch while cooking), even Kosher and seasoned salts.  I’ve switched and now I’ve chosen RealSalt as the preferred brand, at least of plain salt, here at Gadget Central.  I still love, recommend, give as gifts and get nothing but praise for my favorite seasoned salt, the original Santa Maria Barbecue Salt (read my write-up), but RealSalt has replaced all my other plain and Kosher salt (certified Kosher salt is pure with nothing added).  There, that was easy!  Yes, it does cost more than plain old iodized salt in the markets, but over a year’s time, most of us just don’t use that much in a household, so the cost should not be a significant factor when choosing RealSalt as your preference.

Take the taste test yourself, and if you care to do so, compare with the other brands of sea salts in your market or health food stores. When you visit RealSalt online, you can also learn about the more than 50 trace minerals in their natural products that are essential to our bodies, though the trace amounts in any natural salts have not all been proven to be of significant value, other than iodine.  You will learn of its purity and lack of processing.

Here is an interesting page I found on the RealSalt Website and another at Whole Foods Markets Website about salt.  I have also tried Himalayan Sea Salt that tasted good but was just too expensive, as are many other so-called gourmet salts.  However, those of you who believe in the healthful ion benefits of natural salt crystal lamps may wish to look here.  I believe I can detect the presence of purer just-after-a-rainstorm air around our salt crystal lamps.

Finally, I asked a representative of the company to explain the genesis of finding this salt in Redmond, Utah as well as some competitive and comparative information.  Here, in its entirety and without edit or further comment, is the reply:

As quoted in the book, “Our Own Sevier”, published in 1965, compiled and edited by Irvin Warnock it says, “Rock salt mining in this area began in the latter part of the 1800’s when William Poulson, fresh from Denmark, noticed Indians removing salt from a near-the-surface deposit.  He investigated and with previous mining experience in Park City under his hat, decided to go into the salt business.”

Ronnie Bosshardt, one of the early day men connected with the salt industries tells of an experience he had which showed how long this mineral salt has been mined, “One day in the early 1980’s an archeologist stopped at our company with a piece of rock salt that looked like the salt that we mine every day.  This fellow had just driven up from the Mesa Verde Indian ruins in the Four Corners area where they had found this piece of salt in one of the ancient Indian ruins.  He brought it to Redmond to see if it matched our salt in hopes of verifying the trade routes that those Indians used.  The piece he brought looked identical to the salt in our mine.”

I don’t have a certified letter stating this but, Dr. Lorenghl, a geology professor, explained the formation of salt at Redmond this way, “During the Jurassic Period, an arm of the Pacific Ocean flowed down from the Northwest through Washington and Oregon and created an inland sea that extended from Nevada to Nebraska.  About one third of the United States was covered by it.  Over millions of years, this inland sea almost dried up and was re-flooded again three times.  Finally after the third re-flooding, the mountains were pushed up in the Northwest so that it was never connected to the Pacific again.  It eventually dried up leaving this huge deposit of rock salt complete with the minerals.  Later on erosion washed silt on top of this layer of salt so that it was buried under several hundred feet of dirt.  Due to the movement of the continental plates, the salt was pushed up through the strata so that at the location just north of the town of Redmond, it came within 30 feet of the surface.  Further erosion exposed some of the salt making it available to animals as a natural salt lick and later on to the Native American Indians.”

Other geologists have also offered essentially the same opinion sometimes referencing the “Sundance Sea” as the possible source of the salt deposit. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sundance_Sea

Colors in the Salt

Sodium Chloride: White/Clear

Calcium: Soft Gray

Potassium: Silvery White

Sulphur: White, as it is mixed with the Calcium

Magnesium: Silvery White

Iron: Red — as it is probably in the form of an Iron Oxide

Phosphorus: Black, White, Red

Iodine: Red — as it is likely mixed with a Chloride.

Manganese: Silvery Gray, Black

Copper: Pinkish Red

Zinc: Pale Gray

 

While there are nearly 60 minerals listed, pay close attention to the less than sign next to the elements. This means that this particular mineral was undetectable down to the level the technology was capable of testing. Celtic used the same company (Western Analysis) to conduct their analysis, and their mineral content is very similar to our mineral content. Celtic’s analysis has these less than signs as well, and they are included as part of their “80” total minerals. On our label, we indicate that our salt contains more than 50 trace minerals. These are the number of minerals that we know have been detected, and are sure that are present in our salt. If we assumed that our salt had all of these other minerals, even though they were undetected, then we would, like Celtic and Himalayan, have about “80” minerals. I hope this explanation makes sense.

I am not a follower of so-called voodoo science.  I just like the taste of this top-selling brand and the fact that it comes from the US, from a place I would never have thought would be a source of pure, unfettered sea salt.

And finally, I am not advocating one way or another for more or less salt in your diet. I am not qualified and make no claims as to my veracity on the subject.  I’m just a consumer, as are you.  I know too much salt is not good in any form. I know that I like a certain amount, probably too much, on and in my foods.  I know that were I intelligent and if I followed the wisdom and advice of those smarter than I (and that’s just about anyone), I would never add salt of any kind to anything I eat. Like that’s going to happen any time soon!  So, make your own decisions, informed or not, about your own health and nutrition and take my recommendations for what they are worth, considering the source (that being me), with, well, a grain of salt!  And please do let me know if you like RealSalt products as much as I.

Questions about RealSalt? Ask them at 1-800-367-7258.

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