Called by Homer the divine substance, known by the Romans as white gold, salt has always played a fundamental role, not only in nutrition but also in economic and social relations between cultures and countries. The salt is, in fact, a story linked to trade and power, which, from the Neolithic to the Industrial Revolution, has crossed oceans, past deserts and run rivers to unite Europe, Africa, China, Russia and America. Salt has been known since the Neolithic period (10,000 years ago), and its history in the culinary world began with the appearance of the first stable civilisations that, starting from life as hunter-gatherer to farmers-breeders, began to feel the need to protect and conserve unaltered foods for long periods of time. Therefore, before representing a condiment, salt was used as a method of conservation, especially for meat and fish. In Roman times, the use and demand for salt increased exponentially, making it necessary to increase production and trade. It was the period of the construction of new communication routes, including the famous Via Salaria connecting the Adriatic to Etruria, creating a direct bridge between the saltworks of Ostia and the mouth of the Tiber. From this moment on, the salt will represent not only an ambit of exchange goods but also an instrument of power. Tax for passage on the salt roads, medieval gabelle, importation tax and state monopoly, the white gold has undoubtedly been able to enrich peoples and trigger revolutions: just think of the famous “Salt March” led by Gandhi in 1930. The history of salt is, therefore, a path rich in social interactions and economic relationships. A journey that starts with the origins of civilisation and that, combining traditions, habits and cultures, finally arrives nowadays on our table.
Himalaya Pink Salt
ORIGIN: not EU
Commonly called Himalayan salt, as per the geographical region of origin, this rock salt (or halite) is produced and extracted from the mines of the Himalayan mountain range. Because of the unmistakable veins of pink, red or orange, more or less intense, this rock salt is also known as the Pink Salt and is now exported all over the world, not only in Europe but also in North and South America, up to Australia. Its extraction from the Khewra salt mines in the Punjab region, in Pakistan, is still carried out manually, which is why this salt is not subsequently processed or refined, thus keeping unaltered the trace elements (over 80) that characterise it. This type of rock salt has a very peculiar crystalline formation, deriving mainly from the earth erosion phenomena linked to the majestic Himalayan mountain range. Naturally rich in minerals, this type of salt has a high percentage of iron oxide, which gives it its characteristic pink colour, together with a reduced sodium chloride content, which significantly decreases the levels of water retention compared to the common refined sea salt. Concerning its taste and use in the kitchen, the pink salt is characterised by a delicate flavour, which allows to marry perfectly with different types of food without altering or covering the taste. Particularly suitable for salting meat (coarse salt) and fish (table salt).