Let there be salt! See this little salt shaker, lined up against the baseboard like a prisoner about to be shot? He has just been liberated!
On the rare occasions I’ve brought salt to the dinner table I have commented, apologetically, as in, ’I like salt on corn. And my blood pressure is incredibly low. Sometimes the nurse thinks I must be semi-conscious, it’s so low. Anyone else want salt?’ No one ever does. The children may not even know about sprinkling salt on food–they haven’t seen it happen, save for my rare transgressions. (Do they even know why they love potato chips?)
Salt has been relegated to a cooking ingredient, abstemiously measured into cookie dough, often presented with a cautionary note in recipes:
Or, the salt is simply not present in a recipe, which calls for unsalted butter, and everything else, from pepper to parsley as flavoring.
Craig Claiborne lists sodium counts for his recipes in The Gourmet Diet Cookbook. As if sodium were criminal, up there with calories. What about carbs, huh?
It may be dim and rainy, but today we may have salt again. This is big, right up there with the news that eating fat doesn’t make you fat! Gary Taubes has debunked the always mistaken notion that salt is terrible, and you can read right here that salt is okay.
I wasn’t sure we even owned a salt shaker. But there, tucked into a cabinet, its life spared because it’s pretty, was a salt shaker. Cathedral-blue glass encased in silver, with a price tag on its underside: six pounds fifty for the pair. I must have bought them in a London street market–Portobello Road? Camden Town? I’ve wandered both, with enough money to buy a scarf or spoon, or a pair of shakers. Or maybe someone bought them for me? I don’t remember, and how odd it is that there are whole swaths of unremembered things. Maybe I’ll make a list of what I can’t remember.
Meanwhile, welcome back to the world, salt.