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I have seen a number of recipes that call for using "kosher salt". This is ridiculous to me, as I very well know that all salt is kosher, and so I am wondering what I am missing here. What is the advantage (and uses) of kosher salt as opposed to ordinary table salt?

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You are missing a cultural reference. "Kosher salt" is AE for coarse-grained salt, which might be called "sea salt" in Europe. It is not used because it is kosher, but because of its physical properties. The name seems to come from the fact that it was traditionally used to make birds kosher. –  rumtscho Sep 18 '13 at 10:34
    
Ah, that makes sense. –  razumny Sep 18 '13 at 12:02
    
@rumtscho The grains tend to be flatter in addition to being larger. –  Jefromi Sep 18 '13 at 19:32
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Professional cooks tend to prefer kosher salt (as well as many other large grained salts) because those larger and flatter grains make it a lot easier to "pinch" by hand and get a fairly consistent amount. (Also, lacking iodine, it has a debatably cleaner flavor.) –  sourd'oh Sep 18 '13 at 20:46
    
@sourd'oh Yep, high-level amateurs too. I use kosher salt almost exclusively. I like it for the "pinch", and Alton Brown has convinced me that I can detect added iodine a mile away. –  Jolenealaska Sep 18 '13 at 21:27
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marked as duplicate by rumtscho Sep 18 '13 at 10:34

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

"Kosher" salt has nothing to do with parve rules except maybe in the application of "koshering" AKA dry-brining (as a devout atheist, I haven't a clue on that one). It is coarser than regular table salt (making measurements slightly different) and it contains no added iodine. Certain food snobs (ehem) tend to find it somewhat superior in taste. In general, if the recipe asks for a certain measurement of salt, that means 1.5 times that measurement using kosher salt, hence the need to point it out in recipes if that recipe was developed with kosher salt.

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That makes sense. After butchering an animal, salt is traditionally used to remove all remnants of blood, making the meat kosher. –  razumny Sep 19 '13 at 8:36
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