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I have a few recipes that call for flaked salt, I can only seem to buy it in bulk 1kg bags here. I want to know that if you use "salt" in a recipe does it really matter to the final taste what kind of salt you use. I do understand that for example when I use it on top of a foccaacia bread or something similar it does create a nicer texture, enhancing the taste, but this is in the final stages of cooking. When its used through the initial stages of the cooking process, like in a stew, bread dough etc does it make any difference ?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Salt (Sodium chloride) is salt. As a topping, flakes are commonly used purely for presentation purposes only. The taste is the same, but gets more intense as the salt particles get finer, so use less if the salt is in powder form

As an ingredient, use any form you are happy with, and is economical to use. Once salt is dissolved into water it will be identical to any other form of salt

For health reasons, finely powdered salt is preferable as much less is required to impart a salty taste

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While this is 'mostly true', some 'specialty salts' (particularly sea salts) that will contain other 'trace elements' that will impart a slightly different flavor. –  Cos Callis Aug 23 '12 at 4:34
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@Cos Callis While I would like to agree with you, have you ever blind tasted this? Once you have enough "containments" to make a difference, it's not salt any more! –  TFD Aug 23 '12 at 4:47
    
but it is packaged and sold as "salt" –  Cos Callis Aug 23 '12 at 7:03
    
I agree that the tastes are negligible for most salt varieties but there can also be smoked salts and other aromatic variants that aren't necessarily full of "contaminants" –  Brendan Dec 5 '12 at 20:49
    
Harold McGee described some studies that showed people could differentiate between types of salt in solution even if they had the same sodium content: nytimes.com/2011/04/27/dining/…; –  Stefano Dec 6 '12 at 11:14
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Something else to keep in mind is the volumetric measurements that the recipe is using. If they are referring to a "teaspoon" of flaked salt to create the desired salinity, that will be a very different measurement in, say, kosher salt or table salt. I have pushed more and more towards weighted measurements of ingredients for that very reason. 5g of flaked salt is going to be just as salty as 5g of kosher salt (pound of bricks vs a pound of feathers anyone?).

So while the saltiness factor is all the same with sodium chloride, the amount you use can differ.

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