Coarse salt = sea salt?

party_music50July 18, 2014

I'm making malagueta for the first time and the recipe I used called for "coarse salt". I used coarse sea salt and am wondering if I should have used a lesser amount because it's *terribly* salty.... I guess my question is: is sea salt "saltier" than mined salt? :p

Here is a link that might be useful: recipe for malagueta

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Nah, from my Maldon sea salt flakes down to my Morton's table salt and a few salts in between, they all list virtually the same sodium per weight. So unless your sea salt is significantly finer than what they consider "coarse salt" and you measured by volume, I'd blame the recipe.

And while you're at it I'd blame pretty much every restaurant, "celebrity chef" (or worse, celebrity chef judges) and cookbook authors out there. Somewhere along the line "seasoning in stages" became "over-season every time you stir the pot." As someone who's not shy about sticking a wet finger in the salt pig for a "snack," I find the trend extremely off-putting.

Waking up in the middle of the night parched, chugging water until bloated and uncomfortable, then finally fall asleep again only to wake up to to pee and repeat the cycle... Not my idea of good dining memory. I'd keep quiet and consider it a personal problem if I didn't know so many who agree.

(Rant over!)

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 7:16PM
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Oh, yes!! I agree totally with FOAS!!

On a new recipe where I'm not sure of how salty the ingredients are, I always scant the salt measure. One can always add salt, but there's no way to subtract it.

This is billed as a traditional recipe, so may actually be accurate. The massive amount of salt is likely meant to be a preservative. The intro does say to be careful not to use other salt when using the pepper paste. Next time, you can make it to suit yourself with less salt if you're canning (though check with canning experts to make sure that will be okay) or refrigerating it.

Sea Salt is coarse, but there are so many different kinds and sizes of salt that unless the type is very specific (such as table salt or kosher salt), I prefer to weigh it. Unfortunately, most recipes don't have accurate salt measures at all, let alone weights. I prefer when they say salt to taste. That means just enough salt so that it doesn't taste bland. Unless the flavor of the dish is supposed to be salty, you don't want saltiness to be part of the actual flavor--or are using it as a preservative. Unfortunately, for the reasons FOAS mentioned, as well as declines in the physical ability to taste salt that come with overexposure, age, infirmity, etc., too much salt is the current standard.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 8:16PM
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You DID read the sodium content on that recipe, didn't you?

Per serving? That has to be a misprint! (I hope!)

But no, salt alone is 113,173 mg of sodium per cup.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 8:25PM
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Ok, thanks. That's it for me and Too many bad recipes there!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 5:53AM
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The larger the salt crystal, the less salt - by weight - you can fill into a cup/spoon due to the voids between crystals. The finer the salt crystal, the more salt you get when you measure it in a cup/spoon because it compacts tighter.

This is why weight measures are the only accurate measure. It won't matter the size of the salt crystals when you weigh them - you will always measure the same amount when using a scale rather than using a cup/spoon.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 6:57AM
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