‘Salt: a world history – Mark Kurlansky’
Salt has become a real area of interest for me throughout Curioseaty – from it’s form, it’s function and it’s history – I have been fascinated! It has given me lots of inspiration as to several pieces I want to produce and explore further. Mark Kurlansky’s book ‘Salt: a world history’ has been of great help and a brilliant source of fact, history and legend which I have throughly enjoyed reading;
Here are but a few of nuggets of information I have taken on board, which have sparked my salted pieces of work!
‘Salt is a potent and sometimes dangerous substance that has to be handled with care. Medieval European etiquette paid a great deal of attention to how slat was touched at the table – with the tip of a knife and never by hand.’
‘Romans boiled sea salt in pottery, which they broke after a solid salt block had formed inside.’
‘Salt was served at the table, in a simple seashell at a plebeian’s table or in an ornate silver saltcellar to a patrician’s feast. In fact since salt symbolised the binding of an agreement, the absence of a saltcellar on a banquet table would have been interpreted as a unfriendly act and reason for suspicion.’
‘From the Black Sea to the Strait of Gibraltar, salt production was usually placed near fishing areas, creating industrial zones that produced a range of salt-based products, including various types of salt fish, fish sauces, and purple dye.’
‘Wilfredo the Hairy rebuilt an abandoned eighth-century castle on a mountain fifty miles inland from Barcelona. Alone on what was then a distant mountain top, the highest peak in a rugged , sparsely populated area, he could peer from the thick stone ramparts at his prize possession, the source of his wealth, the next mountain.
This next mountain was striped in pattern and colours so lively, it was almost dizzying to look at it – salmon pink rock with white, taupe, and blooded stripes. It was all salt.’