Home Bread-Bakers v109.n009.2

Italian Breads and why they are often salt free

"James Rubottom" <jrubotto@columbus.rr.com>
Sat, 28 Feb 2009 13:35:14 -0500
In response to Marsha's statement on Italian breads often lacking 
salt, there is a very interesting story behind their being salt 
less.  In Umbria and Tuscany (regions of current Italy) salt is left 
out of most breads traditionally.  It has nothing to do with how it 
is eaten or with what foods.  Rather the salt was left out in protest 
of the taxation of salt by the Pope (one of the "Urbans" but I cannot 
remember now which one).  There was a very stiff tax on salt.  The 
tax was collected to reduce the debt of the Vatican which at the time 
was involved in wars.  So you see, the lack of salt was sort of like 
our Boston Tea Party.  It was an early form of tax protest.  I 
learned this while taking cooking lessons in Umbria a few years ago.


[[ Editor's note: Fascinating book on the history of salt: _Salt: A 
World History_ by Mark Kurlansky, ISBN 978-0142001615 ]]