Friday, January 15, 2010

Salt Cellar

This darling little salt cellar is about the size of a thimble, but it evokes a pretty big history.
Salt was a valuable commodity in the middle ages and the word "salary" originates from the word salt. Consequently elaborate salt receptacles displayed on dining tables served as symbols of a host's prestige and seated guests could instantly determine how important they were to their host by their proximity to the salt on the table.
In the 1940's individual salt cellars with their tiny silver spoons , like the one above, became fashionable, but were quickly replaced by the enduring salt shaker in the 1950's.
Personally, I don't put mine on the table for a couple of reasons. I don't think properly prepared food should ever require extra salt...if someone asks me for it I know I've screwed something up. Secondly that whole "guest orientation to salt" history thing makes me nervous...God forbid I put someone special too far from the salt and they feel slighted. Who knew a salt cellar could turn you into a bad hostess! So I use mine in the kitchen and keep it filled with fine Trapani Sea Salt I use for cooking and I love it more every day!


Angela said...


Mb said...

That is some great trivia! I like salt even more now.

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