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Salt & Pepper

marietinn Jan 2, 2009 07:29 PM

I wonder, does anyone know why salt and pepper are the staple seasonings? Why are they a fixture on most peoples tables?

Its kind of random, I know, but a friend and I were eating dinner and she asked. I decided if anyone would know, it'd be a hound.



  1. marietinn Jan 2, 2009 08:08 PM

    Thanks! I'm interested in pepper too... that seems to be a less common inquiry.

    1 Reply
    1. re: marietinn
      ipsedixit Jan 2, 2009 09:51 PM

      At the risk of sounding glib, I think pepper is popular because it makes food taste better without overpowering the food's natural flavor.

      If I recall correctly, pepper was one the main spices transported in the spice trade routes between Europe and India.

    2. thew Jan 2, 2009 07:59 PM

      fascinating read on the history of salt:


      1 Reply
      1. re: thew
        manraysky Jan 2, 2009 08:03 PM

        and here's another:


      2. Davwud Jan 2, 2009 07:46 PM

        I don't know about either.

        Since I have not much else to do I will speculate on salt.
        My guess would be because from almost the outset, it's been important for preserving meat. People probably found that it lent a pleasing taste as well.


        1 Reply
        1. re: Davwud
          marietinn Jan 2, 2009 07:52 PM

          Thanks! I wonder if anyone else will have further information. I know salt used to be very expensive and in some places was used as currency. Maybe it has to do with prosperity?

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