Salt 'n' pepper: Shake it from a pea, or a turkey | Object of Desire | Indy Week
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Salt 'n' pepper: Shake it from a pea, or a turkey 

Salt & pepper shakers courtesy of Leslie Land and Ruth Gierisch

Photo by Jeremy M. Lange

Salt & pepper shakers courtesy of Leslie Land and Ruth Gierisch

Peppercorns—green, red, black and white—grow on climbing vines in hot, humid climates, such as those in Indonesia, India, Brazil, Malaysia, Ecuador, Cameroon and Vietnam. Their color and flavor depend on when they're harvested and the processing methods.

Green peppercorns: Aromatic, expensive and hard to find, these peppercorns are picked when immature. They are used in French, Creole and Thai cooking.

Red peppercorns: Not to be confused with rose or pink peppercorns, red peppercorns are extremely rare, hot and pungent.

White peppercorns: The most popular peppercorn in northern Europe, it is used in sauces, soups, potatoes and beverages.

Two teaspoons of black pepper contains 12 percent of the daily requirement of manganese, 8.6 percent of vitamin K and nearly 7 percent of iron.

Salt shakers were invented in 1858 by John Mason, the same guy who invented the Mason jar.

"Don't buy the salt if you have not licked it yet." Congolese proverb

Salt-n-Pepa's 1988 album A Salt With a Deadly Pepa peaked at No. 8 on the R&B/hip-hop charts.

The philosopher Homer called salt "a divine substance." Read more in Mark Kurlansky's book Salt: A World History.

The human body is about two-tenths of 1 percent sodium. Seawater contains about 3 percent; the Mediterranean Sea is slightly saltier than the Pacific Ocean.


  • "Don't buy the salt if you have not licked it yet." —Congolese proverb


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