Comments for Salt
I can remember sitting in my car listening to a review of Salt: A World History and an interview with Mark Kurlansky. Four years later I have finally gotten around to reading the book. Perhaps I should have read it sooner because the book didn't live up to expectations. I think part of my disappointment stems from having just enjoyed The Zen of Fish by Trevor Corson.
Salt is broken into three parts: the first covering why we need salt and how that need affected early civilizations; the second part focuses on the fishing industry; and the final part looks at how salt continues to affect society. Kurlansky has also written The Basque History of the World and Cod and he's clearly still interested in both topics. Large portions of Salt focus on both the Basque use of salt and the history of cod and salt. I am not all the interested in Basque history and The Zen of Fish is a more interesting take on the history of fish (and salt).
There are some interesting bits of Salt. I liked best the chapters about Italy that discuss prosciutto and Parmesan. I also liked the discussion of salt in China post revolution and the bit about how sugar is traditionally thought to balance the taste of salt. I had never heard of this old wives tale but it helps to explain why salt is always an ingredient in dessert recipes.
Read reviews at: