Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Can salt really lose its savor, its saltiness?

You recall that Jesus says: “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, what can make it salty again? If is good for nothing, and can only be thrown out to be trampled under people’s feet.” (Matthew 5:13)

I do understand the point that he is making. But—forgive my literal-mindedness—I have always wondered, can salt really—literally—lose its savor? (This is one of those dumb questions that have nagged at me--inveterate cook and foodie that I am!--for years.)

It turns out that certain kinds of salt can in fact lose their savor—their saltiness. This is the case of impure rock salt and of salt that has been formed by the evaporation of sea water, such as at the Dead Sea. These forms of salt--which are not pure sodium chloride (NaCl) but are mixed with other minerals--can lose their saline taste as they deteriorate.

Thought you’d like to know. (It put my mind at rest. Or rather, now I just have to try to do it--to be the right kind of salt.)


  1. Thank you! This has always bothered me too!

  2. I am repeating myself: I truly enjoy your entries, Timmie, with their rasa-esque quality of combining the inside with the outside, the spiritual with the physical, the thought with the flavor. Thank you!