A brief history of salt

A very ancient saltworks was discovered near an archaeological site next to a salt spring in Neamt County in Rumania.  Evidence indicates that Neolithic people were boiling salt-laden spring water to extract salt as far back as 6050 BC. Salt was widely used for other purposes than seasoning food and this could be one of the reasons that created a human settlement pattern around salt pans.

Apart from needing to preserve meat in brine, salt played a big part in religious rituals such as:

  • Salt was included amongst funeral offerings in ancient Egyptian tombs also in the form of salted birds and fish
  • It was used  in ancient Celtic Exorcism Rites
  • In Judaism, it is customary to dip bread in salt when passing bread around the table after Kiddush
  • In Wicca, it is believed to cleanse and area of harmful or negative energies
  • It is considered to be very lucky in Hinduism and is used in religious ceremonies such as weddings
  • In the native Japanese religion Shinto, salt is used for the purification of locations and people. In Sumo wrestling, small piles of salt or salt flowers are placed in dishes at the entrance to the halls to both ward of evil spirits and  to attract patrons

However there are also many practical uses for salt:

  • Coarse salt is brilliant for cleaning coffee and tea stains out of mugs.
  • In the garden I have found that coarse salt prevents snails from eating your plants. Also if spread between the bricks/tiles on your patio or path it will keep these areas weed free.
  • And then there is sprinkling salt on the spilt red wine!!

Salt can be used with other ingredients such as vinegar for a wide variety of cleaning needs.  If you have ever had these problems while cooking onions:

  • Chopping onions  – rub smelly hands with salt softened with vinegar
  • While cooking the onions they burn – a mixture of cinnamon and salt on the hot plate will clear the air of the burnt odour
  • If burning the onions so badly that a fire is started then don’t use water to put out the flames – use salt
  • To clean the burnt pot use salt to clean.