I’ve often encountered reading passages about the importance/history of salt in course-books for teaching English. I also knew that the origin of the word “salary” is related to “salt”. But I hadn’t come across any mention of the connection between olives and salt!
We took a guided walking tour on the outskirts of Jerusalem this morning. Lots of beautiful olive trees. The guide explained that it is a myth to think that people in Bible Times (as depicted in books and movies) leisurely nibbled on olives, which they just reached out and picked off the nearest olive tree.
Freshly picked olives are hard and bitter. You need to cure them first, a process which requires salt. Salt was a very precious and expensive commodity, vital for preserving food. In our hot climate, the guide claimed that nobody would have dreamed of wasting salt for making the olives tastier!
I never thought of that!