Salt is a commodity that affects us every day. We are either watching our salt intake, reveling in salt to make the food we cook taste better or bathing in it to soften our skin, slow down the aging of our skin and to sooth and relax us.
The salt we pour in our shakers is not pure salt as supposed, it is a combination of salt, silicoaluminate, dextrose and potassium iodine. You can purchase salt without the iodine but people still prefer it because it once helped prevent goiters. Since our food now comes from all over the world we really do not need it in salt as we get plenty of iodine from many sources.
One of the earliest references to salt was the story of Lot. Lot’s wife was warned by God’s angels not to look back at the city in regret but she disobeyed and was turned into a pillar of salt. In that area of the world there are a number of large pillars of salt still today. Could one of them actually be Lot’s Wife?
The expression we all used today: He is not worth his salt, comes from Greece. They used salt as currency to trade for slaves.
Why do we throw salt over our shoulder when spill it? It is derived from the painting of the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. It shows an overturned salt cellar in front of Judas. The French believed that taking that spilled salt and tossing it over our shoulder we will be tossing the salt into the eye of the Devil who is behind us, thwarting further foul play. So it will behoove you to pick up a few grains when you spill it from your salt shaker, just in case!
Salt inhibits the growth of molds, bacteria and yeast. This is why it is the perfect natural preservative and used in preserving butter, pickled vegetables, cured meats, thus sustaining life during the dark months of winter for centuries. Effectively preserving life itself.
Salt is not just used for food seasoning. It has thousands of industrial applications over the years, such as curing animal hides. Saline solutions for medical uses, It is used to manufacture chlorine gas which is used to make plastic, synthetic fibers, and dyes.
The Morton Salt Girl is a famous logo. The Morton Salt Girl with the umbrella has been updated five different times over the last century with new dresses and hairstyles. She was first seen in 1914 and last changed in 1968. See the changes here.
Roman soldiers were paid by giving them salt money. Salarium agetum. That is the origin of the word for Salary.
So there you have it! A few obscure fun facts to toss out at your next party.