Chapter 19. SALT CELLARS

Table of Contents

USES OF SALT
THE STANDING SALT
"ABOVE AND BELOW" THE SALT
TRENCHER SALTS
BELL AND HOUR-GLASS SALTS
GEORGIAN SALTS

The use of salt-The standing salt-Above and below the salt-Trencher salts-Bell and hour-glass salts-Georgian salts. SALT is probably the oldest condiment used by man. In many of its forms it is provided by nature ready for use, requiring little or no preparation for the table. Common salt, chlorine and sodium, is found in solution, and as rock salt it has been widely distributed, hence its popular use long before it was thought necessary to provide special receptacles for its storage and for serving it up with meat on the table. In Eastern countries the drying up of salt seas supplied the condiment, and salt beds are known in continents far separated and formed under very different conditions. In this country the Cheshire " Wickes " are famous for their brine springs and deposits of rock salt. Very interesting indeed is a visit to the salt mines of Northwich and to the works where from early days table salt has been secured by evaporating the brine or natural springs of saline liquid pumped up from great depths. In the salt works of Mid-Cheshire there are vast heating systems by which the brine flowing into the pans is evaporated and the dry salt gradually formed ; but in the East and especially in the neighbourhood of the Mediterranean, air and sun complete the work and effect the extraction of the precious salt in edible form.