Millennia ago, Alexander the Great was crossing the southern foothills of the Himalayas on horseback. While he and his soldiers were taking a rest, their horses began sniffing and licking certain rocks on the ground. Curious, one of his soldiers picked up a rock and tasted it, thus discovering one of the world’s largest Himalayan pink salt deposits, at least that’s how the most popular legend goes.
Today, that same salt is hand harvested from the same salt vein, deep beneath the earth where it has been hiding for hundreds of millions of years. Himalayan pink salt has become a staple for many cooks, favored for its beautiful color, clean taste, and trace mineral content.
What is Himalayan Pink Salt?
Himalayan Pink Salt is a rock salt found predominantly in the salt range hill system of eastern Pakistan. The salt range falls at the western foot of the Himalayan mountains, where a geological collision exposed an ancient sea bed rich with salt deposits millions of years ago.
Samples of pink salt show the presence of more than 80 different trace minerals. These minerals make up 1-2% of the salt’s content on average, while the rest is pure sodium chloride. You’ll notice varying colors in the salt, ranging from a meaty red, to rosy pink, to a soft white. These blushing hues are brought out by a larger presence of iron oxide and magnesium in the salt. The whiter shades of salt have the purest levels of sodium chloride.
The largest and oldest mine in the salt range is the Khewra Salt Mine. Miners have been hand harvesting this unique salt there for more than 200 years. The mine has 18 separate levels, with tunnels stretching for roughly 25 miles in total. The mine is also a major tourist attraction, featuring beautifully ornate sculptures and structures made entirely of rock salt—Including a fully functional mosque, pictured below.
How Do I Use Himalayan Pink Salt?
This special salt has an extensive range of uses from body scrubs, to mineral baths, to USB-powered desk lamps. Himalayan pink salt’s greatest quality is its ability to make food more delicious. Herbs and spices change flavors while salt enhances them. A pinch of this gourmet rock salt makes meat taste meatier, vegetables more savory, and turns a slice of watermelon into a delightful surprise.
With its attractive appearance, Himalayan pink salt is favorable as a garnish or finishing salt. It makes a great topper for homemade caramels and chocolates, or a salt rim for specialty cocktails. For many of our customers, this salt has become a favorite for daily use in all of their cooking.