James Beard on the importance of salt

Discovering a new seasoning is one of the greatest pleasures a food lover can have. The first time you taste it, you immediately start imagining all of the dishes in which you could use the flavor. It gets tucked away in your mental spice box, ready to be pulled out at just the right moment.

The more you cook and discover new spices and herbs, the bigger this toolkit gets. The downside to having all of these flavors at your disposal is that it can lead you to overlook the more basic seasonings. Sometimes it’s good to be reminded of how important the simplest of these can be, as this essay by James Beard about salt demonstrates


Beard describes the major types of salt (that which comes from the sea and the other that originates deep in the earth), and even gives you instructions how to make your own sea salt. If you happen to vacation at a beach, you should give it a try sometime. Noting that salt is added to nearly everey type of food we eat, from savory to sweet and everything in between, Beard opines that salt “is one of our greatest culinary gifts.” 

Post a comment

One Comment

  • Frogcake  on  September 2, 2018

    I have about thirty different varieties of salt in my special salt cupboard – even salt blessed by the Pope, which I bought in the Vatican! Most of the salt is from France- fleur de sel flavoured with herbes de Provence, lemon, or spices ( as examples), Hawaii, or South America, or other parts of the world we have visited. It’s a cheap souvenir that I bring home! I’ve also made savoury salt mixtures using herbs from my garden. Like James Beard, I agree that it is a great culinary gift.

Seen anything interesting? Let us know & we'll share it!