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The origins (or discovery?) of salting food


Lately I've been thinking about how we humans come up with crazy ideas. In this case, how and when did we decided to use salt to season food. So my question is; does anyone how how this happened? I have a feeling it probably started as an accidental event and then from there the rest is history so what's the histoy of us salting food?

Thank you!



  • Hi Quintin - you might be interested in Mark Bitterman's book, "Salted: A Manifesto on the World's Most Essential Mineral, with Recipes." Mark is considered an expert on all things salt (he both coined the phrase and is considered a selmelier, a food service professional whose expertise is in salt). His website, The Meadow, has a little bit on the history of salt (albeit a bit skewed towards finishing salts which he sells in his salt boutique):

    I also found some great information on the history of salting food for flavor from Saltworks, a sea salt company: and a short article and video from the History Channel:

    I hope you enjoy reading these! Best, Lynn C.

  • edited August 2019

    Hello Lynn!

    Thank you so much for answering my question and for offering such an amazing amount of information! I will certainly read Mr. Bitterman's book and check out his website. I didn't realize there was such a thing as a "selmelier" but then again, I am new to the gastronomic universe. :)

    All this reading and learning about salt is going to make me thirsty so I will be sure to drink up a gallon of water to ensure that my electrolytes are properly balanced.

    Take care and cheers!


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