The Smithsonian: February 2015

by Arturo Martinini

Over the millennia, salt has played a role in cultures around the world, from its use as money to its importance as a symbol of friendship and sharing. Salt is mentioned in the Bible and in folk tales, and it remains the one ingredient with the most uses in every culinary tradition.

Modern manufacturing techniques did much to change salt’s nature and to hide its potency, diversity, and intrinsic value. Now, it’s enjoying a comeback as artisanal salts such as fleur de sel, flake salt, and dozens of others continue to grow in popularity. People were amazed by what adding these crystals to a dish did to enhance the flavor and texture of food.

Learn about salt’s history and how it’s shaking things up in today’s culinary world from leading salt expert Mark Bitterman. Enjoy tastings featuring six dazzling artisan-made salts and find out how to use one of nature’s most ancient ingredients to perform miracles in the modern kitchen.

Bitterman is the award-winning author of Salted and Salt Block Cooking and owner of the specialty store, The Meadow.

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