13 Things Amazing Facts About Salt
Reader's Digest US|February 2019
13 Things Amazing Facts About Salt

Salt was so valuable in ancient Rome that soldiers were sometimes paid with it. In fact, the word salary comes from the Latin word sal, for salt. When a soldier was doing a lousy job, his paycheck might be cut, which is how we got the expression “not worth his salt.”

Jen McCaffery

1 Salt was so valuable in ancient Rome that soldiers were sometimes paid with it. In fact, the word salary comes from the Latin word sal, for salt. When a soldier was doing a lousy job, his paycheck might be cut, which is how we got the expression “not worth his salt.”

2 Salt can still be valuable today. Amethyst Bamboo 9x salt, which rings up at $398 a pound, may be the most expensive in the world. This pricey stuff takes a lot of time to produce—it’s roasted nine times inside a bamboo pole at temperatures exceeding 1,400 degrees F. One store says the resulting delicacy “smells like something dragons use to season their victims before eating them.”

3 Historically, salt’s value came from its ability to preserve food. Venice,Italy, may be famous for its canals now, but salt imports fueled its rise as an influential trade power by the end of the 13th century.

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February 2019