Since the early history of man, salt has always been nearby. Salt: A World History, written by Mark Kurlansky, is describing the importance and the effects on history that salt has had over the thousands of years of human history.
Salt: A World History begins with a simple introduction, which explains what content will be included in the book. Topics range from salt in the past,—Greece, Rome, Egypt, France, Germany, Poland, and Israel—to recipes and instructions on making certain foods, and to the etymology of words such as salary and salami: both which are stems of the word ‘salt.’
The book is divided into three sections, by specific periods of time. In the first section, Ancient China, Egypt, and Rome are the focus, while in the second, countries such as Sweden, Norway, France, Germany, America, and Israel. Finally, the third and last section is about salt in modern times, after 1800 or so. There are also acknowledgements, a bibliography, and an index.
The book has been presented in a way, such that it can be perceived as it is an informational book. The chapters are filled with historical stories and anecdotes of salt, as well as various recipes involving salt or salted products. One such recipe instructs the reader on how to make a Baked Spiced Ham. “Select a nicely cured ham. Soak overnight in cold water. Wipe off and put on in enough water to cover. Simmer for three hours. Let cool in the water it was cooked in. Take out and trim. Put into baking pan, stick with cloves and cover with brown sugar. Bake in moderate oven for two hours. Baste with white wine. Serve with a savoury salad.” (Kurlansky 218) Even though it is an informational book, the reader thinks that it could also be perceived as somewhat of a ‘how-to’ book, due to the vast amount of information available to the reader.
The book is filled with meaningful quotes, such as, “Today, thousands of years of coveting, fighting over,...