Wednesday, June 20, 2007

History Bites: Salt

Salt on Flickr by beFOODled.

I read the other day that the word salt has its roots in Ancient Rome. Roman soldiers were sometimes paid in salt, hence the word salary, from the Roman salaria. The word salt is also derived from this term. Salt was one of the hot commodities of the ancient world because it was used as a preservative, and in those days food often travelled for a long long time over large distances. It's difficult to imagine being paid a mere seasoning for all my hard work. As much as I love the stuff, let's face it: salt is cheap and omnipresent, as demonstrated by people like me who spill it without a second thought. But if the Ancient Romans could see us tossing it around liberally as we do today, I wonder what they would think...


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