Salt is one of the elements very commonly used in cooking. It is nothing but a mineral which is found in nature, under crystal’s form, and is mainly composed by two chemical elements: sodium and chlorine.
Salt is generally extracted from underground deposits, result of ancient rivers now dried up. The situation is different when it comes to sea because in that case, as you can tell from the name, salt is created by evaporation of sea water. This method is mainly used in areas where rainfall is very rare, just to allow the salt to dry as fast as possible.
Historically, salt was used to preserve food and prevent the growth of bacteria to keep the transported foods always fresh.
But is salt good or bad for our health?
Eating too much salt has always been highly discouraged, as it would increase blood pressure, thus increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
However, some studies says instead, that limit the daily intake of salt will result in a slight reduction in blood pressure, and that there is no strong evidence linking reduced salt intake to a lower risk of heart attack, stroke or death and that, even consuming not enough salt would be detrimental to health. Salt is also the protagonist of many sayings and custom’s folk: pour salt on the table it would be seen for many as a symbol of bad luck and misfortune. This stems from the fact that just because in ancient time it was very expensive and they did not want it to get waste.
The name of the Salzburg city: “Salzburg”, means “city of salt”, just because the subsoil is rich of this element.
Salt is not only used in cooking, but it can be useful to many other things: for example cleaning ivory objects with a bit of lemon and salt mixture will turn them shining again. It is also useful to clean your home oven, using a bit ‘of salt, water and baking soda and even as a fixative for dye.
Really a very useful element with many purposes.