I enjoyed this book, and it is very complete for those who, like me, enjoy reading about the history of how our present foods and diets came about. I don't think the book would hold the interest of someone with a more casual interest in the subject, however. The book can get a bit dry (no pun intended) and does include quite a lot of recipes that are of historical interest but not much use as modern-day recipes. Of greatest interest to me were the explanations of salt's economic importance from the Stone Age on, and also how the history of salt is so completely tied up with the history of fish in the human diet. It makes a good companion book to COD.
That's OK, neither can the narrator.
I learned several new tidbits from this book. Especially interesting was the taxation of salt across cultures and time. The multi cultural approach is a strength of the book.
Too bad the narrator, who does a good job with western names and places, slaughters the Chinese. If they can learn German, French and Arab names, why can't they learn a few basic Chinese names.
This is a fascinating subject that is sadly dulled down by both the author and the narrator. I've been listening to it while cooking and it's been interesting. I confess, though, I listen to it to fall asleep and it's equally effective there.
Its not just good reading, its of a slice of history of cooking.
Combination of what salt is worth and how salt
changes the way you look at food. Anyone wanting to be a chief, or like myself, loves cooking and history its a must. Also If you just want to track how salt effects everyting from money to wars and how it gained its importance even relating to medicinem its great,totally delightful.
Although the subject sounds pretty boring, the book is actually very interesting and covers a lot of different aspects of humans and history. I had heard it once before from the library, and liked it so well, I got my own copy here.
I have read/listen to many books on my iPod but I really could not get through these 12+ hrs on salt. There is an incredible amount of detail on the history of salt, but who cares?
Been listening to recorded books for over 15 years and have told many friends that Scott Brick could read me the phone book and I'd enjoy it. 'Salt' was interesting but was made fascinating by the talents of Brick. I am anxious to start both 'The Company' and "Alexander Hamilton' just to hear that slightly arrogant, always expressive voice. When I chose books, I search for his latest first. Keep him going!
This would be a good book to read, and skip the recipes. It would also be a good book to abridge. The premise is sound, the narration is good and there are many interesting parts. Unfortunately, there are too many digressions into real trivia, especially the recipes. One can take only so many detailed descriptions of herring salting options in 18th century Lithuania. Just when you think you can't take any more recipes, he starts another. In an audio format its hard to "flip ahead" to skip them. I had to give up before the end of part one.
The book Salt is a time-tested way to present the history of the world, i.e. pick a ubiquitous item, and use it as the common thread to trace every aspect of human history. The same historical literary formula would work as well by writing about gold, fabric, or even bricks. Great book, great history, even if a bit repetitive about the importance of salt to fish preservation. Highly recommended as a literary device for understanding our connections to all cultures. Be prepared to enjoy almost pure history.
Wow! I never imagined there could be so much written about salt! Which shows my ignorance of the importance it has played in our history. Overall the book was good but be prepared for many details that will demand your attention to get through...specifically the detailed recipes for salted fish and other things scattered throughout the book.