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Old 08-07-2008, 09:37 AM   #1
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Salt for Olives

I've been experimenting with pickling olives .. following different recipes, all of which specify non-iodised salt.

But for some reason, ALL salt sold in South Africa still seems to be iodised (sometimes called "iodated")! Except for kosher salt apparently .. which I've only seen in coarse format.

So. Does anyone have any idea why olive-pickling recipes would call for non-iodised / non-iodated salt? I thought the olives came out quite successfully with the iodised salt that I used, but am I at risk of poisoning myself and my family and friends?

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Old 08-07-2008, 09:44 AM   #2
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Look for pickling salt. It's plain like kosher salt but a much finer grain. If you cannot find pickling salt, you can process kosher salt in a food processor or blender to make it a finer grain.
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Old 08-07-2008, 09:45 AM   #3
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iodine is bitter and in a brine for olives will give a poor taste and a strong aftertaste. Pickling salt is a very fine grind (for quick dissolving) and should be untreated with additives. Or run kosher salt (always course btw) through a grinder to get it very fine.
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Old 08-07-2008, 09:59 AM   #4
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Wow .. thanks for the quick responses!

It's good to know it's all about taste, and not some toxic chemical reaction

I did try grinding some kosher salt, but not very successfully. I needed quite a lot, as one of the olive batches was dry-packed in salt. I blunted the blade of the grinder before getting very far, and ended up using the iodised instead.

I'll try and find some pickling salt, thanks!
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Old 08-07-2008, 10:08 AM   #5
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kosher salt will disolve, just prepare your brine and give it time to mix in.
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Old 08-07-2008, 03:12 PM   #6
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A little info on salt(s) ...

Plain Table salt - small grain treated with anti-caking agents so it is free flowing.

Iodized salt - same as plain table salt but with the addition of iodine.

Pickling salt - small grain like table salt but has no additives like anti-caking agents, iodine, etc.

Kosher salt - larger crystals or hollow pyramid shaped cones of pure salt, no additives.

Sea Salt - either flake or crystals, depending on how harvested may contain more minerals than just what is in the sea water.

MEASURING: due to the differences in the size and shapes of the crystals - measuring by volume requires some adjustments when changing from one type of salt to another. For example (based on what is commonly available here in the US): 1 cup table/pickling salt = 1.5 cups Morton's kosher salt = 2 cups Diamond Crystal kosher salt (I don't remember the exact conversion on this one). Sea salts are more problematic because of more variations in size and shape.

The best way to substitute from table salt to kosher salt is to weigh a cup of table salt and then a cup of the kosher salt you want to use - and calculate the difference so that you wind up with the same amount by weight.

MAKING THE BRINE: Salt dissolves faster and more completely in hot water than tepid or cold water ... and you can just wait untit cooks to the temp you want before using.
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