The use of salt and pepper as America's quintessential condiment combination has been so deeply ingrained in our culture that one rarely ever stops to wonder how that came to be. Even in Europe, the two seasonings are inseparable. Surprisingly, the story of salt and pepper goes back centuries.
Pepper has been used since before the common era, serving as both a condiment and medicinal property in Ancient Rome. Though long pepper originally stood as most popular during the Roman era for a great while, the pepper we've come to know usurped its status by not only being more affordable but also growing further west, making it easier to transport and spread throughout the world.
When Rome was sacked in the 5th century, Alaric the Visigoth demanded 3,000 pounds of peppercorns as part of his ransom as the spice was sometimes used as a type of currency, not unlike salt.
Salt, on the other hand, has been used virtually since the dawn of humanity, with our bodies requiring three to eight grams of the substance to perform various metabolic functions. Long before it partnered with pepper, salt was often coupled with sugar to season dishes. And, as currency, Roman soldiers were often paid in salt, called 'sal' during those times and eventually transmuting into the word salary.
After a brief drop off in popularity, pepper made a comeback in the 17th century thanks to King Louis XIV who was a notoriously picky eater, finding most forms of seasoning to be vulgar except for parsley, salt and pepper. The rest, as they say, is history.
When you're sharing the colorful history of salt and pepper with your friends, remember to show them your Stainless Steel Salt & Pepper Shakers from StainlessLux, an attractive pair of items that would also make for great housewarming gifts.