[Sca-cooks] Colored Salt

Spices at Spicewells spicewells at yahoo.com
Thu Jul 9 14:58:50 PDT 2009

Though I haven't done a lot of research on period colored salts, I can relate the following: 

Himalayan pink salt is actually mined pink without external influences.  The salt deposit has a large amount of trace mineral that lends the color. 
The black Indian salt is more greyish pink/purple, usually, and has a high sulfur content, which lends to an affinity for eggs.  I've heard from several people it was somewhat an unexpected odor when cooked.

Black sea salt, coming from either Hawaii or Cyprus, is actually evaporated with activated charcoal, hence the color is an additive.  So, too, the red Hawaiian sea salt, known as Alea, is evaporated with a large amount of red, iron oxide-rich clay.  
Grey Sea Salt is sometimes evaporated in green clay lined pools which imbues the greyness to the salt, so the color is an additive process.  

One good source you might like is www.Saltworks.US.
Caitriona Mac Dhonnachaidh


From: Deborah Hammons <mistressaldyth at gmail.com>
To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>
Sent: Thursday, July 9, 2009 11:23:20 AM
Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Colored Salt

"I found a few references to salts, but none that said where they came from.
This one was the most complete, so to speak, but no sources.  And it talks
about sodium and potassium salts.  So the black salt would be a rock salt.
Now I get to look where they came from, and what color salt would be where.
And I thought the bread grain search was fun.

"There are several naturally occuring colored salts: red, green, pink and
grey sea salts. Black, purple and almost-neon-pink rock salts."

Inorganic Colloid Chemistry

On Thu, Jul 9, 2009 at 10:14 AM, Robin Carroll-Mann
<rcarrollmann at gmail.com>wrote:

> On Thu, Jul 9, 2009 at 11:32 AM, Deborah
> Hammons<mistressaldyth at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Are there documented examples of the
> > other color salts (not ones that were colored intentionally) used in
> period?
> > Aldyth
> Le Menagier has a recipe for preserving eels with black salt.
> http://medievalcookery.com/cgi/display.pl?lmdp:376
> There is a black salt used in India, so called because of the mineral
> content that colors it.  I suspect that the Goodman means unrefined
> salt (why waste the more expensive stuff where it won't be seen?)
> Brighid ni Chiarain
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