Salt is a dietary mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride that is essential for animal life. Salt flavor is one of the basic tastes, an important preservative and a popular food seasoning. There are to ways of producing salt. One is the evaporating of sea water the other one is the search for natural deposits in the ground. Salt in the past was much more used than today for the preserving of food. Things changed with the possibility of refrigeration. Preserving with salt has been the start of many typical Italian food products, probably the most famous is the Italian cured ham. For all this reasons more than today salt was a necessity. The ancient Romans built a road that had the name Salaria, which was used to bring the salt produced from sea water of the Adriatic sea close to Cesenatico to the city of Rome. Today a small production survives there, but much more is produced in Sicily close to Trapani. Being toxic to most land plants it became a ritual celebrating a victory to pour salt over a conquered city, symbolizing that nothing should grow there any more. It is said, but not historically proofed that this is what the ancient Romans did after the defeat of Cartago. Nevertheless salt had an important economic role in the past, and also for this although there is no historical evidence that people where paid with salt you will find in a lot of languages the word salary. There are hypothesis that even the word soldier comes from sal dare, which literally means to give salt presuming salt was their pay. To strengthen this theory think that in Italian saldare means also to pay a bill.
image salt

Image Salt

The importance of salt was often a main cause for wars and rebellions being one of the most famous the rebellion of the citizens of Perugia (today famous for Amanda Knox). At the end of 1539 the pope Paul III Farnese that at that time was ruling that part of Italy decided to raise the price of salt, doubling the price. The consequent rebellion is famous, also because due to that since then to our days in that part of Italy, bread is baked without salt. Also taxes on salt were common and in Italy until the end of the 20th century salt was a state monopoly. We were buying it at the same stores selling tobacco. Here in the States salt played a major role also in the civil war. But fortunately salt is not only about war and to a lot of places where it was found it brought wealth. Cities all over the world that had the chance to have it in the ground, have very often the word salt in their name, being the most famous  the Austrian city Salzburg. One more reason for visiting beside Mozart is that close to the town there are incredible salt mines opened to the public. Than don't forget that there is a part of magic in Salt as it is the third element in the trinity of the alchemical substances, and tied to a lot of superstitions all over the world. In Italy it has a bad meaning to pour accidentally the salt, which probably as it was associated to money, it was taken as an unnecessary waist.

Forget superstitions and think about the use of salt in modern cooking. I am sure that you had often the dilemma about which kind of salt to use with different food. I keep it simple and for pasta vegetable and fish i use organic salt from the sea.

For meat instead i like to use salt from mines. It is healthy to use salt in small quantities as you get used to the taste of it, so that the more you use the more you get accustomed to its taste.