For me, a big difference between the food I eat at home and the Spanish food I ate while travelling is the seasoning. Spanish food is salty.
One of the most iconic associations of Spain is the large quantity of ham’s legs hanging from the ceiling in bars and butchers. It has been a staple part of the Iberian diet for centuries, dating back to the Roman era. Preparing this part of the Iberian cuisine is a simple process: let the pork dry and then cure it for a period of time with salt. The time, type of pig – how it was raised and its region – will all determine the price of jamón, with some cuts ranging up to thousands of euros.
Salt can be used for many things. It can be used to preserve, to purify and to add flavour. Nowadays, as a slang term, it has taken on the meaning of ‘someone who is agitated, angry or annoying”.
There is a lesson here in the many meanings of salt. After starting something new, it can lose its initial excitement over time without you realising it. This is normal, as we become accustomed to routine and settle into something. The danger comes when we go through the motions with something and are doing it for the sake of it, rather than with a purpose or reason. It can become too easy to lose the flavour of an endeavour. Sometimes it needs to be preserved, to persevere through difficulty in order to see the value at the end of the struggle. Other times, purification is needed. We need to feel raw and this can cause pain, even anger. To process this takes time. Time to reflect and discern where to go or what to do next.
Where is a pinch of salt needed in your life at the moment?