Salt, World History; An our books are cooked edition

Salt A World History by Mark Kurlansky
Take it with a grain of salt.

Salt A World History

Welcome back food minded readers to the Pot and Pan Handler’s malevolent blog edition Salt. Today we’re discussing two things near & dear to our hearts, reading & salt. Sure salt’s a mineral, a rock, a preservative and necessary for life, but it’s also much more. Salt has started & ended wars, sparked broad social change and changed lives for better & worse throughout history. Mark Kurlansky, took the subject of salt on and the result is a fascinating read, Salt A World History.

Did you know that Buffalo, New York is located where it is because of salt? Or that the creator of Tabasco once made millions selling salt to the Confederacy? Are you aware that Soy sauce is only created by hand in one place and it sure the fuck isn’t in the United States?  Have you ever heard that Clarence Birdseye started their frozen food empire by fast freezing cod? Then, like a Wall Street shark, Mr Birdseye sold the company just before the stock crash of 1929? If you find any of these colloquial facts interesting than you’ll enjoy Mark Kurlansky’s book; Salt A World History.

Look I know that insert noun here A World History as a title comes across as a little overwhelming. However Mr. Kurlansky keeps it interesting delving into a subject & quickly moving on. This blitzkrieg style of writing leads to a quick read. Salt A World History almost comes across as a novel, the novel of salt. Filled with interesting factoids this book keeps moving from a to z. But manages to never comes across as a text book of dates that need memorizing.

460 pages takes you on a 5,000 year salt pilgrimage through  China, India, Egypt, Japan, Morocco, Israel, Africa, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, England, Scandinavia, France and the United States. Salt a World History takes us on a rock fueled wandering highlighting the relationship & drama that this mineral has contributed to humanity throughout history and it’s a salty ride.

A little bit disjointed as the timeline is not as fixed as a perfectly horizontal insert date here timeline you’d find on a high school marker board. Rather it jumps from culture to culture, covering a culture until its demise or until said culture takes a step back from the salt fueled history covered in this book. This is easily countered by putting Salt down, observe real life for a minute, until it gets too real. Then, reopen Salt vigorously refreshed and ready for a dose of historical context.

Historical context it should be noted, should always be paired with a Reisling as that will provide clarity.

Coming soon; we finish up in Miami when we find shelter in cured meats, then with all the grace we can muster, we skip to shytown. There we’re privy to Italian beef’s, Italian Dawgs, Pigs, Goats, Tacos, Carnitas and a heaping side of podcast, when we meet @theBenRandall of the In the Weeds Podcast, we’ll see you there.

Guy Fieri
Totally Made Up Corporate Sponsor… Guy Fieri: “I’m a douchenozzle.”

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