Food has gotten very fancy



My mother never in her life used pure vanilla extract; imitation vanilla extract was good enough for her.  But nowadays?  If you’re not using pure vanilla extract – and Madagascar vanilla at that – you’d better just slit your throat.



(Unless, of course, you purchase fresh vanilla beans and scrape the seeds into your project.  In this case, we will grudgingly allow you to continue.)



Remember when Apollonia and I were arguing over oils, and vinegars?  Olive oil, vegetable oil, sesame oil, walnut oil, almond oil.  Balsamic vinegar, white vinegar, cider vinegar –



And now: salt.



Salt is interesting.  Mom used Morton’s exclusively: “When it rains, it pours.”  Nowadays, of course, we know that there are so many interesting Salts of the World: the grey salt they harvest on the Ile de Re in France, the pink salt from the Himalayas.



I have purchased both of these.



They both taste – mneh – like salt. 



It would be lovely to pretend that they are Ubersalzen, that they have magical flavors not possessed by other salts. 



It wouldn’t be true.  They are – um – salty.



But the Ile de Re salt is grey, and is raked up from the sand, from the ocean, by people in France!



And the Himalayan salt is up in the mountains, from an ocean that dried up over 200 million years ago! 



And it’s pink!



(Well, it might be from Pakistan.  Not really from the Himalayas.)



(And I paid $1.99 – plus tax – for two ounces of the Himalayan salt.  That’s roughly $16/pound.  Mighty steep!)



It’s not the (salty) taste nor the packaging: it’s the mental imagery.  It’s the lovely image of those people on l’Ile de Re in their funny hats, raking salt on the seashore, and the quiet chilly bed of pink! salt lying so high up in the Himalayas.



I had some pink Himalayan salt on my mashed potatoes this evening.  It was spectacular.  It was completely different from any other condiment I might have used.



Who are you to deny it?



About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to

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