The next product we will take a closer look at in our History of Spice Series is Pink Himalayan Salt.
Common Name: Pink Himalayan Salt
Scientific Name: Pink Halite or Mineral Halite
Other Names: Pink Salt, Himalayan Sea Salt, Rock Salt, Himalayan Crystal Salt
Pink Himalayan Salt comes from sea beds and although commonly referred to as a spice, this product is actually a mineral. It is a natural, very coarse-grained salt and contains many minerals and trace elements. The pink crystals of this salt range in color from white to pink, to a much darker red. This is because of the high mineral and iron content it contains.
Himalayan Pink Salt was formed over 250 million years ago during the Jurassic era. It is found naturally, within the Himalayan Mountains and has been considered a valuable spice for many centuries. The ancient sea beds inside these mountains, where this salt is mined were once covered by lava. The lava created a natural barrier that has prevented toxins and other pollutants from reaching the salt. Because of this natural protection, many people believe that Himalayan Pink Salt is the purest salt on earth.
The Himalayan people first used this salt as a preservative. It helped to keep their fish and meat from spoiling for long periods of time. For this reason, this salt was very popular in Nepalese valleys for trade. The Himalayan people would use yaks to carry the salt during their journeys along mountains, cliffs and rocky paths so they could trade this valuable product.
Today, Himalayan salt is mined from Salt Mines in Pakistan, located near the foothills of the Himalayas. It is extracted from the mines by hand. Mining in this area is strictly regulated in order to preserve the purity of this product. The mines are massive, stretching almost a half mile into the mountains with nearly 25 tunnels and 11 levels.
This salt is often referred to as “white gold” in the Himalayas.
Pink salt is used the same way table salt would be used in cooking and baking. However, Himalayan Pink Salt is higher in mineral content than traditional table salt. It is considered a true gourmet cooking salt by top chefs. It also adds an interesting pink color and different texture to foods which can bring something special to your cuisine. This salt is a wonderful ingredient in grilling, cooking, roasting and seasoning foods.
Many believe Himalayan Pink Salt is beneficial in the following ways:
- Controlling the water levels within the body
- Increasing libido
- Reducing sinus infections and sinus related problems
- Increasing bone strength
- Reducing wrinkles
- Reducing cramps
- Helping with better and more restful sleep