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Getting Salty

Our school cafeteria provides an assortment of condiments, yet they do not provide the most common: salt and pepper.

OPINION BY Kaylen Maltais, Assistant Editor-In-Chief of PLPulse

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Sitting at the lunch table, crowding around in those rigid chairs, shoveling spoonful after spoonful of food into your mouth, and keeping up with Brenda’s taboos of the day can be quite distracting; so distracting that as you hungrily fork that last bit of baked potato into your mouth you don’t notice one crucial thing. 

One monotonous bite after another, and you still can’t seem to grasp what’s wrong with your crispy spud until it hits you like a tasteless, bland truck. Where’s the salt and pepper? 

Salt and pepper, in their many forms, have always been vital to people throughout history and up to modern day.

 

It may seem ridiculous for us to forget that delicious dynamic duo that has submerged itself so scrumptiously into our daily diet, but unfortunately, we have. Not only have we forgotten these integral spices, but as a school, we have excluded them from their rightful place in our lunch room. 

Which is odd for our taste buds, but also appalling to our ancestors. 

Looking back throughout our world’s history, one can trace the origins of salt to the mighty Mediterranean empire and its flourishing spice trade. Salt was not only a vital spice used to preserve food supply and add flavor, but it was also used for centuries as currency and was a reason for much bloodshed. 

Pepper, too, was a hot commodity along classical trade routes. Many merchants tirelessly traveled throughout the silk road with, what was then, a luxurious spice worth cunning and deception. Its indigenous cultivators spun twisted stories to protect the secrets of its whereabouts and refinement in order to preserve the strong hold they had on the spice market. For these reasons, pepper roused many jealous empires into malevolent action.  

For spices, like pepper and salt, we have Christopher Columbus’ discovery of the New World and the great maritime exploration of the impressive Vasco de Gama to celebrate; so why, after millennia of passionate tributes to this vital culinary couple, do we exclude them now? 

Obviously, these spices are important to not only our baked potatoes, but also to our history as humans on this Earth. We owe it to ourselves and to our ancestors before us to savor our hard-earned salt and pepper and restore their rightful place in our cafeteria and in our hearts.

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Getting Salty