Littell's Living Age/Volume 4/Issue 34/Salt in Abyssinia

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Originally appeared in the Travels in Abyssinia.

Salt in Abyssinia.

Whilst speaking of this article of food, it may be as well to observe, that its use appears to have been dictated by the situation of the Abyssinians. As an easy illustration by analogy, it may be safely supposed that salt is a more indispensable necessary of life, and far more expensive in that country than the purest white sugar is in Europe. Children stand around the mother whilst engaged in any manner in which salt is employed, as in England little silent gazers are attracted around mamma when making sweetened dishes. Good housekeeping, with the Abyssinians consists chiefly in the economical management of their stock of salt; and among other notable modes of making a little do duty for a considerable quantity, besides affording an additional stimulant to the palate, is the system of combining it with pepper. An old Dutch method of executing criminals was confining them solely to the use of bread in which no salt was contained, and which ultimately occasioned death by the worms that were thus allowed to generate in the intestines. Many children in England have I seen who have certainly fallen victims to the foolish fear that they would eat too much salt; and I believe that disposition to scrofula the national disease, is chiefly owing to the vegetable diet of our children not being sufficiently attended to in the matter of this simple condiment. Be that as it may, the Abyssinians suffer considerably in their health from the difficulty of obtaining salt—Travels in Abyssinia by Charles Johnston.