Very early in his book, Kurlansky refers to an essay by the psychoanalyst Ernest Jones on man's obsession with salt. Whether or not man, in general, has an obsession with salt may be debatable. That one man in particular--Mark Kurlansky--has, is made more than clear by this unusual and enjoyable book. He seems to have set out to put between the covers of one volume every single fact about the history of man's relationship with salt that he could unearth. How the Ancient Greeks salted their tuna. Why the Mayans used salt as a medicine in healing rituals. The story of the great salt merchants of China. The French tax on salt and how its injustice contributed to the French Revolution. Why Gandhi chose salt as a symbol of the Raj's oppression. Kurlansky ranges through the centuries and across the world to tell the story of salt. As a prize-winning food writer he is particularly good on the ways salt has shaped our eating habits and once again, as in his earlier book Cod
, he seasons his text with recipes he has come across in his research. In the course of 450 pages the reader may occasionally feel that here is a book that tells one more about salt than one wants to know but, for most of those pages, Kurlansky's enthusiasm, knowledge and style create an engrossing tale.--Nick Rennison
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Refreshing and invigorating, full of fascinating fact (Independent on Sunday
This is an extraordinary little book, unputdownable, written in the most lyrical, flowing style which paints vivid pictures and, at the same time, punches into place hard facts that stop you dead in your tracks. A compulsive read (Sir Roy Strong Express on Sunday
Crisply and elegantly written - piques the appetite and sharpens the senses (Sunday Telegraph
A rich stew about every salt-influenced concoction and creation, from the first sausages and cured hams and fish sauces to the invention of parmesan, tomato ketchup and Tabasco sauce (Financial Times
An entertainingly anecdotal and lovingly partisan history. (Independent