NPR

How Did Salt And Pepper Become The Soulmates Of Western Cuisine?

The two flavors are mainstays on nearly every Western dining table, but their dominance was far from inevitable. In fact, their dual reign resulted from a "weird accident of history."
In European cooking, salt reigned supreme, and pepper was one of many spices used in heavily seasoned dishes. When they met, they were destined to be. Or, rather, it was destined that they would meet. Source: Theo Crazzolara

Salt and pepper shakers are so omnipresent on tabletops that adding a dash of the white or black stuff (or both!) is almost a dining rite. The seasonings pair well with just about everything and they go together like — well, salt and pepper.

But these two culinary staples have not always occupied such a place of prominence. "It's a weird accident of history," says Ken Albala, a professor of history and founder of the Food Studies Program at the University of the Pacific. In century."

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