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Salt ( Hindi : नमक | Telugu : ఉప్పు | Bengali : লবণ | Tamil : உப்பு | Gujarati : મીઠું)


Salt has greatly influenced the political and economic history of the world. Every civilization has had its salt lore fascinating superstitions and legends that have been handed down, sometimes reverently and sometimes with tongue-in-cheek. The purifying quality of salt has made it a part of the rituals in some religious ceremonies. “He is not worth his salt” is a common expression. It originated in ancient Greece where salt was traded for slaves.


Quick Facts

  1.  Sodium Chloride is the chemical name for salt. It is formed when the unstable metal sodium reacts with chlorine gas. It is the only family of rocks regularly eaten by humans.
  2. From ancient times to the present, the importance of salt to humans and animals has been recognized. Thousands of years ago, animals created paths to salt licks, and men followed seeking game and salt. Their trails became roads and beside the roads; settlements grew. These settlements became cities and nations.
  3. Ancient Britons carried their crude salt by pack train from Cheshire to Southern England where they often were forced to delay their journey until the high tides of the Thames River subsided. A village known as Westminster grew up there and Westminster became London.
  4. The early Greeks worshipped salt no less than the sun, and had a saying that “no one should trust a man without first eating a peck of salt with him” (the moral being that by the time one had shared a peck of salt with another person, they would no longer be strangers).
  5. The widespread superstition that spilling salt brings bad luck is believed to have originated with the overturned salt cellar in front of Judas Iscariot at the Last Supper, an incident immortalized in Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous painting.
  6. During the War of 1812 with England, it became very difficult to obtain salt from abroad. Because of this, commercial production of salt began in Syracuse, New York.
  7. Right up to the 20th century, pound bars of salt (called amoleh) were the basic currency in Abyssinia (now called Ethiopia).
  8. The amazing Salar de Uyuni (the world’s largest salt flat at 4,000 square miles) in Bolivia becomes mirror like when a thin layer of water lies on top. This reflectivity makes it a very useful tool in calibration scientific equipment from outer space. This amazing salt flat also contains half of the world’s supply of lithium. The salt flat is pictured above.
  9. Consumption of too much salt can be deadly you need to take about 1 gram of salt per kilogram of weight to die and this was used as a method of ritual suicide in China especially amongst the nobility as salt was so expensive.
  10. Good quality sea salt contains many essential minerals for the body. The best type of sea salt should be slightly wet from the sea it was taken from.
  11. In the Middle Ages, salt was so expensive it was sometimes referred to as “white gold”. The medieval pavement of one of the transportation routes for Salt still exists in Germany where it links the inland city of Lüneburg to the German Baltic coast.
  12. Black Salt is made in India by mixing salt water with harad seeds (Chebulic Myrobalan). The mixture is left to evaporate leaving behind black lumps of salt. When the salt is ground, the resulting powder is pink in color.
  13. In Guerande, France, salt is still gathered in the same way as it was by the ancient celts, using baskets through which the sea water is strained. This makes the salt very expensive and highly sought after, especially the finest quality version called Fleur de Sel (flower of salt). This salt is sprinkled on food prior to serving – it is never used in cooking.
  14. Before Biblical Judaism ceased to exist, salt was mixed with animal sacrifices. As salt was a symbol of wisdom and discretion.
  15. After aviation fuel is purified, salt is mixed with it to remove all traces of water before it can be used.
  16. In the early 1800s salt was 4 times as expensive as beef on the frontier; it was essential in keeping people and livestock alive.
  17. Only 6% of the salt used in the U.S. is used in food; another 17% is used for de-icing streets and highways in the winter months.
  18. In the late 17th century, salt was the leading cargo carried from the Caribbean to North America. Salt Cod was the leading cargo carried from North America to the Caribbean. It was used to feed slaves on sugar plantations.
  19. Salt apart from consuming it has many useful ways like it can be used in cleaning dishes, cleaning egg spills, wine stains, coffee posts, Rust, sore throat, sore legs, anti-itch, perk up coffee, tea and other sugary foods , used in preserving fishes, vegetables and fruits.

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