Food Facts & Lore

Did You Know This About Salt?

Salt is a no-brainer. Spices complement flavor, salt deepens it. Not only that, but we could live without spices, as pleasurable as they are, but salt is essential. In moderation, as all good things. At one time it was used as currency, or it was so precious that only the wealthy could afford it. Here are 10 more facts about salt to spice up your knowledge of this simple pleasure. They also make good conversation pieces for kids.

  1. Every cell in the human body contains salt. There is about a half pound of salt in an adult human.
  2. Salt is used in the embalming of mummies.
  3. Salt was the most important cargo, in terms of tonnage, shipped from the Caribbean to North America in the late 1600’s.
  4. It was common practice to sprinkle the stage with salt in early Japanese theaters. This was believed to protect performers from evil spirits.
  5. The oldest known written reference to salt was recorded over 4000 years ago, in the Book of Job.
  6. A bacteria was discovered in salt deposits under Carlsbad, Mexico. It was revived after being dormant for over 250 million years, making it the longest-living organism known to date.
  7. The belief that Roman soldiers were paid in salt may be erroneous. The connection between the words salt and salary is accurate (from the Latin, salarium, for salt), but may actually refer to the fact that Roman soldiers were entrusted with protecting the salt commerce roads leading to Rome.
  8. In Gerande, France, sea water is strained, manually, using baskets. This is the same process for gathering salt that was used by the ancient Celts.
  9. In the same region, salt is so precious that it is never used for cooking. Instead, it is only sprinkled lightly over food just prior to serving.
  10. The expression, “When it rains, it pours,” was a marketing tagline coined by the Morton Salt Company, in 1911, when they added magnesium carbonate to their product to prevent the caking that occurred in damp temperature.