Friday, August 10, 2007

Salt:A World History by Mark Kurlansky

This fascinating book covers the history of the world in reference to the only rock we eat: salt. Mark Kurlanskys book is a fun read for those who love history and food. As a person who lives to eat, I found it fascinating. Salt was once used as currency, salt caused wars, salt sparked inventions and opened waterways to trade and travel. Salt is delicious. Salt played a major role in human history and this book explains the myriad of ways in which it did that.
While this book contains many many interesting facts, for example, how the Chinese invented natural gas heating (lets face it, what didn't they invent?), it can also get a bit tedious at times. I kind of wanted..more. More story or something. Its kind of a lot of..facts. I guess non fiction is like that, but still. I wanted it to tie together more, rather than just different facts about different regions.
Still, this book is a fun one to read sections here and there, not necessarily straight through. Foodies and history buffs alike would enjoy this book about the inexpensive, taken-for-granted, everyday salt. I did find it intriguing and fun, and now also have those coctail-party tidbits to impress people. And now I want some chips. Sea salt chips. For some reason.


ARM said...

"Salt is delicious"

I like how you slipped that in there.

I keep meaning to get this book when I see it, but I'm not as much of a foodie as you are. So might just have to borrow it from you.

Did you get your nasty sea salt chips?

Airam said...

"Salt is delicious" Ha! I noticed that too Arm. Salt is especially delicious on McD's french fries!

This book sounds really interesting. It sort of reminds me of this book that I started reading and haven't finished called, "The Life and Death of Planet Earth: How the new science of astrobiology charts the ultimate fate of our world" in that it talks about the history, the present and possible future of the world .. and in the case of your book, salt.

Damnit to hell there are so many books that I want to read now! You're all making such great suggestions!

brandy said...

Okay I'm so psyched that someone posted about this book! I heard about it before and wanted to read it, but then forgot about it. Now that my brain has been jogged I'm going to pick it up. It's crazy how salt was so important. I'm going to go hug my salt shaker right now.

brookem said...

i love salt.