What is it? Mined from the base of the Himalayan Mountains in Pakistan, this prized rock salt ranges in color from light beige to deeper reds, depending on the mineral content. The more minerals the salt contains, the deeper the color.
Formed more than a quarter billion years ago during the Jurassic era, this salt is thought to have healing properties in addition to its culinary uses. It's also been used in bathwater for detox purposes. Whether it's clever marketing or an ancient holistic form of medicine or both, I've seen claims that pink salt can do anything from help your body absorb nutrients to help relieve symptoms of fever or herpes and other illnesses.
Pink salt is also harvested by hand, hand-crushed, hand-washed and dried in the sun before packaging and shipping.
How is it used? This salt is used as much in flavoring foods as it is in spa treatments and baths whose enthusiasts claim that the 84 trace minerals found in the salt provide health benefits (minus the fact that if you eat too much, you'll have high blood pressure). Large blocks of the salt are also used to cook and quick-cure food.
Where can I buy it? For flavoring food, you can buy small containers at Spec's on Smith as well as Central Market. Spec's will also be offering a Peruvian version of pink mineral salt in the near future, which will likely be less expensive.
Recipe: Chocolate Truffles with Pink Salt: Courtesy of Whole Foods Market
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.