I've just started reading this book, and it is so fascinating, especially noting all the little insignificant, yet interesting facts that surround us in this world. It is unbelievable how much of a commodity salt was back in the day. It was the main driving force behind all of the trade routes created, and it can be argued that it was the catalyst behind many of the inventors as well. Kurlansky says that historically, people thought that salt was an essential component of male and female fertility and virility.
I just got through the Introduction, and I already learned that The Romans called a man in love "salax", or in a salted state, which is where the origin of the word Salacious is from. I never new that Salacious came from salt!! In the Pyrenees, a bridal couple "went to church with salt in their left pockets to guard against impotence"; In France either the bride or the groom carried salt; and in Germany the Bride's shoes were sprinkled with salt.
Who knows? Our progeny will also be laughing at our obsession with Oil today. For thousands of years, the obsession was salt...and today it is all about Oil. Oil which drives our economy; oil which gets us to work every day, and Oil which disrupts our ecosystem with massive destructive and dangerous spills. I think salt was much less taxing on our environment. At least this we know to be true.