101 forgotten uses for salt

By Chef Lippe

Bolivian Rose Salt Having lived in Bolivia for several years as a child I did not appreciate it as much as I did when visiting family as an adult.  Soon we will be carrying salt cellars and other items made with salt from the Andes. The internet claims that there are over 14,000 ways to use salt. Today I will give you a few of my favorite ways and share with you some information about the salt that we get from Bolivia. I hope you enjoy and if you are ever in this part of the world a visit to the salt hotel is well worth it.  Bolivian Rose salt is found in Tarija, in southern Bolivia. 

Bolivian salt is rich in taste and has many uses with its high mineral content.  In 100 grams of salt you get 3.3mg of Iron, 477mg of calcium, 38.6mg of Sodium and 432mg of Potassium.  Rose salt has less sodium per serving than other salts which makes it popular with those of us who are over 50. Also in southern Bolivia is the Uyuni Lake. Bolivia currently produces 8500 tons of salt per year from this lake.

This salt is millions of years old and is found high in the Andes Mountains, where the salt deposits where covered with volcanic lava creating its high mineral content and protecting it from pollution.  Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest salt flat and covers over 4,000 square miles and can be seen from space.  30,000 plus years ago this area was part of a giant prehistoric lake. When the lake dried up it left behind two lakes and two salt deserts. Salar de Uyuni is one which is roughly 25 times the size of the Salt flats in the US. In 1993 they built an entire hotel of salt right in the middle of the salt flat. Everything from the walls, floors and roof are made of salt blocks.  Tables and chairs and other furniture all made from salt. Here are some of my favorite uses for salt, but many of them have been replaced by modern chemicals and cleaners:

  • Salt added to water makes it boil at a higher temperature, thus reducing the cooking time.
  • Eggs boiled in salt water peel easier.
  • Poaching eggs over salted water helps set the egg white.
  • To see how fresh your eggs are place an egg in a cup of water which has 2 teaspoons of salt added, a fresh egg will sink.
  • Cleaning a greasy pan will wash easily if you sprinkle with salt and wipe it with a paper towel first.
  • Rubbing your coffee or tea cups with salt will remove the stains.
  • If you have burned something in your oven, while still hot sprinkle with salt and cinnamon to take away the odor. When dry use a stiff brush to clean.
  • Salt tossed on a grease fire will extinguish it.
  • A pinch of salt added to your coffee will enhance the flavor and remove the bitterness of overcooked coffee.
  • Clean copper pans by sprinkling with salt and using a cloth soaked in vinegar.
  • Remove onion odors from fingers rubbing them with vinegar and salt.
  • Adding a pinch of salt to your milk will keep it fresh longer.
  • You can remove rings from your tables left from wet or hot dishes or glasses by rubbing a thin paste of salad oil and salt on the spot with your fingers and let it stand for an hour or two.
  • Brighten your yellowed linens or cottons by boiling them with salt and baking soda.
  • Remove mildew or rust stains by rubbing with a mixture of lemon juice and salt, let dry in sun and then rinse and dry.
  • And our last tip for the day is called salabrasion; this technique done by a Dr. can remove a tattoo with virtually no scarring.

In yesterday’s blog “Cooking on a Himalayan salt block” http://wp.me/p2n8ji-3V we talked about cooking on salt and the added taste that is received by doing so.  Today I have listed lots of ways to use salt in and around the house that many of us did not know about. Ask your grandmother and I am sure that she will remember some of them. Tomorrow I will talk about the health benefits of certain salts. In the meantime enjoy these pictures of Bolivia’s salt lake. 

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Filed under Bolivia, Chef Lippe, Food, Food blog, health through eating, travel

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