Wood Family Farm

Salt by Mark Kurlansky Review
May 10, 2011, 9:33 am
Filed under: 2011, May

Salt by Mark Kurlansky is an entertaining, as well as, an eye-opening account of the history of one of Man’s most basic commodities: salt. Although “salt” is an item I use nearly every day, I have never contemplated how it came to my table or its impact on history. After reading Salt, I no longer take this humble seasoning for granted.

One tidbit that I found interesting is the role of “salt” in sustaining an army. Kurlansky notes that Napoleon’s army was bereft of salt as it retreating from Russia. Without salt as an antiseptic (OUCH!), minor wounds became fatal. Armies were paid with salt and salt was viewed as a necessary provision.

“Worth your salt” refers to the amount of work you accomplished since salt was used as a medium of commerce.

Kurlansky’s description of salt mining and evaporating was educational. The picture on my “Celtic Sea Salt” of a salt raker made sense to me after reading this book.

Salt was not a book I read rapidly. Each chapter is self-contained enough to easily put the book down and return to later without losing the flow of narration.

I found Salt to be informative, entertaining and a pleasure to read.


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