“Salt: the only rock we eat”.
I’ve really been enjoying this class of books that Goodreads calls “microhistories”, in which an author delves into a single subject with great detail. This particular book focuses on salt, which is a lot more interesting than you’d expect.
Salt in some way has influenced:
— the discovery of natural gas
— all sorts of words, like soldier and salary
— the creation of Tabasco sauce
— travel and trade routes
in addition to more common applications, like food preservation and medicine.
Kurlansky jumps around some, but basically outlines the history of salt from first known records of its use in food preservation to modern advances that make it inexpensive and uniform in size. He combines the gourmet aspect of salt — including recipes from a variety of times and places — with the more practical aspects of how salt is collected and sold.
I’m having trouble making this sound as interesting as it actually was, but I promise, this was a pretty good read.