Its use before cooking offers culinary, gastronomic and dietary advantages
Common salt (sodium chloride) is one of the highest purity culinary products. There are different variants, depending on how they are obtained and used. We have rock salts or mineral salts such as black salt (gray in color, containing sulfur compounds that give it a characteristic flavor) or pink Himalayan salt (with iron and manganese oxides). In another group are salts from salt mines such as fine salt, which is the most widely used, or coarse salt, used in “salt” cooking and curing processes. Fleur de sel (lamellar crystals that float in water), Maldon salt (with flake morphology), Guérande salt (very rich in trace elements), Hawaiian black salt (with black lava ) or Hawaiian red salt (with volcanic clays). There are even synthetic salts (such as Soda-lo®), very fast-dissolving microspheres that give an intense salty taste; They are used in the kitchen for hypertensives.
The culinary use of salt dates back some five thousand years, when salting began to be used to preserve fish, meat, vegetables or mushrooms. More recent are the “salt” cooking techniques. And now a new application has been found that is revolutionizing the world of meat and fish textures: baths in brine prior to cooking.
The presence of salt in the water increases the interaction between the proteins and the liquid that surrounds them; this causes the incorporation of more water to the protein network or a greater solubility of the proteins, in certain cases. This phenomenon is proportional to the salt concentration and is known as salt solubilization (salting in). When reaching a high salt concentration, the opposite process occurs: the interactions between proteins are greater and the incorporated water leaves the structure. It is called saline precipitation (salting out).