Monday, March 16, 2009

Salt makes you fat?

It is a shame that I didn't take any photographs yesterday but I felt I needed to get out of that car park pronto pronto.

I have been trying to find out more about the history around here. Fougeres you see is really a border town. It sits on what was the border of France and Brittany and with the largest castle in Europe it has plenty of stories to tell. Well I found out about a salt tax called a Gabelle which is a Latin word for tax. Apparently Fougeres had plenty of salt smugglers selling their contraband, skulking around the castle walls.

Secret Salt

This salt tax caused lots of upset with the French folks and helped fuel their anger in the Revolution. They got angry a lot!

Just imagine food today without any salt, mashed spuds just wouldn't be the same would they. Now I have never been a person who needs to use salt at the table, since I am more of a black pepper person, but never the less food would taste a bit bland without a bit of the white stuff sprinkled in during the preparation.

The thought of what poor people may have eaten in the Revolution, makes me feel very lucky to be alive today, and not in those times. Mind you I am English so I guess they would have killed me in those days?!

How much do you pay for a container of salt? No idea I bet! is a link about this wretched tax.

Here is a link about the word Salt.

Painting on a Restaurant in Dinan

It wouldn't be so appealing to eat a large packet of crisps if they didn't have the demon salt on them!

The French word for smuggled goods is contrabande.

The French word for adding salt to your food is saler.

Etymology for the word salary.


Diane said...

I'm not a salt-eater either but you're right... there are some things that just wouldn't be the same without it!

Henry the Dog's Mum said...

That's incredible, I really didn't know that. I love learning new stuff. I guess we take salt for granted, and whilst UHugh and I rarely add it to food, it is essential to a persons diet. It's also used in other ways isn't it - to preserve food etc. Really interesting post..

LadyFi said...

I don't use salt when I cook as there is already enough in food like bread etc.. I do love black pepper though!

The Romans used to pay wages in salt...

French Fancy said...

I've reduced our salt consumption quite a lot lately, preferring to use it in the cooking of the dish and not added later. As you ask if we know how much a canister costs - I have two I use: everyday salt which is about 80c a canister and a little tub of sal de Guerande which is about €3.

French Fancy said...

The Accidental Fan is blogging again by the way

bindu said...

I was recently reading about the Salt tax in India too, and Gandhi's Dandi march. It's interesting the kind of things people/countries come up with, to make money.

This curiosity came from a discussion we were having on the trade laws over time across countries and how it relates to what's happening today.

claire p said...

the painting is wonderful.

I'm not a big salt eater either. Have a friend who just piles it on before he's even tasted the food to know if it needs it. But you do need it on some things, like chips.