1. Right up to the 20th century, pound bars of salt (called amoleh) were the basic currency in Abyssinia (now called Ethiopia).
2. The amazing Salar de Uyuni (the world’s largest salt flat at 4,000 square miles) in Bolivia becomes mirror like when a thin layer of water lies on top. This reflectivity makes it a very useful tool in calibration scientific equipment from outer space. This amazing flat also contains half of the world’s supply of lithium.
3. Salt is so essential to the body that if you drink too much water it can flush it out of your system and cause fatal Hyponatremia. This is what killed Jennifer Strange who entered a “Hold your wee for a wii” competition.
4. Consumption of too much of it can be deadly – you need to take about 1 gram of it per kilogram of weight to die and this was used as a method of ritual suicide in China – especially amongst the nobility as it was so expensive.
5. Good quality sea salt contains many essential minerals for the body. The best type of it should be slightly wet from the sea it was taken from.
6. In the Middle Ages, salt was so expensive it was sometimes referred to as “white gold”. The medieval pavement of one of the transportation routes still exists in Germany where it links the inland city of Lüneburg to the German Baltic coast.
7. Black Salt is made in India by mixing salty water with harad seeds. The mixture is left to evaporate leaving behind black lumps. When it is ground, the resulting powder is pink (as can be seen in the image above).
8. In Guerande, France, it is still gathered in the same way as it was by the ancient celts, using baskets through which the sea water is strained. This makes it very expensive and highly sought after, especially the finest quality version called Fleur de Sel (flower of salt). This Fleur de Sel is sprinkled on food prior to serving – it is never used in cooking.
9. There is a very common misconception that Roman soldiers were paid in ‘salt'(hence the word Salary), but in fact they were paid in normal money. The connection with it is possibly through the fact that the soldiers protected the salt-roads leading to Rome (Via Salarium). Roman Soldiers were private employees – rather than state employees.
10. Before Biblical Judaism ceased to exist, it was mixed with animal sacrifices. This originated from Moses in Leviticus 2:13 which states: “Whatsoever sacrifice thou offerest, thou shalt season it with salt, neither shalt thou take away the salt of the covenant of thy God from thy sacrifice. In all thy oblations thou shalt offer salt.” It was a symbol of wisdom and discretion.
11. After aviation fuel is purified, salt is mixed with it to remove all traces of water before it can be used.
12. Sodium Chloride (pictured above) is formed when the unstable metal sodium reacts with chlorine gas. It is the only family of rocks regularly eaten by humans.
13. In the early 1800s it was 4 times as expensive as beef on the frontier – it was essential in keeping people and livestock alive.
14. Only 6% of the consumption in the U.S. is used in food; another 17% is used for de-icing streets and highways in the winter months.
15. In the late 17th century, it was the leading cargo carried from the Caribbean to North America (most tonnage). Salt Cod was the leading cargo carried from North America to the Caribbean. It was used to feed slaves on sugar plantations.