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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.

Thanks!

Marie

  1. 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.

    DT

    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?

    2. thew Jan 2, 2009 07:59 PM

      fascinating read on the history of salt:

      http://www.amazon.com/Salt-World-Hist...

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

        and here's another:

        http://www.amazon.com/Much-Depends-Di...

      2. 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.

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