Paths of Salt

more than a year ago

As Croatia is positioned along the Adriatic Coast, it has developed and maintained a significant role in the production of salt for centuries on end, and when you take into consideration that man first discovered salt 10,000 BCE, this natural mineral has become part and parcel of life, has fed and nurtured civilisations, and will continue to do so.

Looking back, salt has always been deeply rooted in human culture: Roman soldiers received salt as a reward; Egyptians used salt for mummification; the Greeks often exchanged slaves for salt and used it in certain rituals, whilst the Japanese would sprinkle salt around the house to drive away evil spirits. Salt became a treasured and highly sought after ingredient, it brought colonial power; it led to wars and was one of the first sources of trade particularly throughout the Middle Ages where it was deemed ‘as precious as gold’.

So what is salt? Why is it so valuable? And how can we use it? Firstly, salt is a natural mineral made up of white cube-shaped crystals primarily composed of two elements, sodium and chloride. It is translucent, colourless, and has a distinctive and characteristic taste.

The majority of people think of salt as simply a white granular food seasoning. In fact, only 6% of all salt manufacturing goes into food. It is said that we use salt in more than 14,000 different ways from the making of products as varied as plastic, paper, glass, aluminium, and rubber, to household bleach, soaps, detergents, and dyes. We use salt for medicinal purposes, for preserving food, cleaning and polishing, gardening, skin treatment, personal care, hygiene, and more!

Salt is essential for human life and the body cannot produce neither sodium nor chloride itself, so we need to add a pinch of salt into our daily diets. It helps maintain chemical balance in our muscles and nervous system and it is said that 5 to 6 grams of salt per day, for an average adult, goes a long way.


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