"Salt is special. See, rather than simply flavoring meat by working itself in between muscle fibers, it actually alters the structure of meat, primarily by causing certain parts of the protein myosin to become dissolvable in water.
What does this accomplish? Well, by dissolving myosin, muscle structure is greatly loosened, allowing it to retain more moisture (this is the principle behind brining), and more importantly in this case, it allows proteins between muscle groups to cross-link, causing them to stick to each other.
This is why, for instance, sausages get a nice bouncy, snappy texture, and why if you remove the salt from one, it becomes crumbly and dry (see here for more info on salting and making sausages, and here for some deeper scientific info on the process of salting meat. http://qpc.adm.slu.se/Low_salt_pig-meat_products/page_23.htm...
(and a variant I like even more https://www.seriouseats.com/2016/02/how-to-make-mexican-pueb...)
The same idea works with steak, but you need to be careful if you are anywhere between immediately salting the steak, and less than an hour. (scroll to the Salt section) https://www.seriouseats.com/2011/03/the-food-lab-more-tips-f...
> This beautiful, approachable book not only teaches you how to cook, but captures how it should feel to cook
> "Just reading Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat will make you a better cook, adept at seasoning, balancing..."
If you remove the salt it is not a sausage. The word sausage comes from Latin salsus meaning "salted". Salad and sauce also come from this root (more obviously in the Spanish salsa).
The poster youre replying to doesn't say "ground beef" = " sausage" so I don't see your point.
People will still call unsalted sausages (e.g. for people that must follow a salt-free diet ) sausages, even if 2000+ years ago salsus meant "salted" for a totally different nation of people.
Heck, even vegan products are called sausages, without having any meat even.
I was thinking about these veg*n meatless variants (not limited to sausages). Often they're called "vegetarian X" or "vegan X" or a nameplay/wordplay on the word such as in Dutch "visvrije tonijn" (fish-free tuna) or gehacktballen (minced meat balls, but then with a 'c' added making the word 'hack').
People say this all the time, and its patently wrong - salt was not a rare resource in italy, the sea is everywhere.
If I recall correctly, the book from the article mentions that the sea is an inefficient way to gather salt. The salinity is just much lower than what you can find in underground brine springs. It also goes into how Italian city-states went to war over control of saltworks, and how it hugely increased the wealth of whoever controlled it. So although it may not have been rare, I don't think it's accurate to paint it as an abundant resource, either.
Interesting about the misinformation around the etymology of "salary." Thanks for pointing out. Found an article  that goes into more depth about how there's no evidence for the explanation.
Latin salārium, originally money allowed to Roman soldiers for the purchase of salt, hence, their pay
You get 4.5 ounces of salt from a gallon of water and it takes a fairly long time or a lot of fuel for 1 gallon of water to evaporate.
Salt might be what makes a "good" sausage?
... so if you remove the salt, it's not a salad or a sauce? Hmm.
And so much for applesauce. sigh
I guess that's no true sauce, man.
The runny stuff is a sauce. Salad really just means adding salt to it. In Italy they don't use a sauce as such, but rather just add oil, vinegar and salt separately.
But I get what you're doing. You're taking the extreme approach of "etymology never matters". I get it. I'm able to enjoy the etymology of words and the difference between a sauce and a compote and still say "apple sauce" when I'm talking to English speakers.
It's not very satisfying to read a list of the things you'd roughly guess from reading the headline.
My general strategy is to write about books that I happen to be reading anyway. I'm finding that it's a great way to deepen my knowledge retention of the books that I read. It took me about 5 to 7 hours to synthesize the contents of the book into these main themes. If you read the book you'll find that it's organized very differently from the themes that I've identified.
So, sorry if it's coming off as garbage affiliate content just created for the sake of sales. Definitely not my intention.
If you really want to make this model sustainable long-term I might even make the recommendation paragraph dynamically customized based on referring source (here's a WordPress plugin that would let you do this: https://wordpress.org/plugins/if-so/). History enthusiasts are likely to be intrigued by a different set of things from the book than HN's business & systems-thinkers or an RPG community interested in world-building inspiration.
Lots of people will read a general-interest article (quick & no cost), but to get conversions to an actual sale, you need to target specific interests.
Hopefully that gets you a step closer to 3 sales.
Very interesting, and I also appreciate the discussion that it has launched here as well (for example, I didn't know that salt dissolves part of muscle protein)
I appreciate the author’s work and, if I were in the market for a book about the history of salt, I would have been glad to click his link. I am sure the more financially blessed among us would love to live in a world that wasn’t so gauche as to require people actually making money from their work, but that isn’t reality. Not everyone has the privilege of just giving away work for free. The funny thing is that if the author had a paywall, people would complain about that. I don’t understand the resistance to people trying to make money with content, especially when done in an unobtrusive way.
Here in Denmark, we make it on the island of Læsø, where the geography helps concentrate the sea water before it is used to make sea salt.
That's the fancy expensive stuff. I use flaky sea salt from 2kg buckets I buy at a restaurant supply store. Much less expensive, works just as well.
In other words, Celtic Sea Salt is more than just NaCl.
We also use salted butter in almost all of our traditional dishes.
"Worth his salt."
Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky
While this this sounds pedantic (who besides me would get excited about a good explanation the origins of "the Hanseatic League"?) but Kurlansky really makes it fascinatingly rich reading.
The link between salt and hypertension is well known by the general public, but less well know is that salt is a major cause of stomach cancer.
There is just so much salt hidden in everyday food, that we are not even aware of.
Yet, its possible to do a very salty tasting soup just by using carrot juice or celery as the base instead of water, as those vegetables are relatively high in sodium.
You taste it and could swear that the soup was salted, when there is no added salt.
Current research suggests that while salt is bad for people WITH hypertension the causal link between elevated consumption and hypertension isn't what was earlier believed. One study here https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317099.php
I guess the key is to live a balanced life, don't consume anything in excess and don't worry too much. "In medium virtus est"
The aphorism "science advances one funeral at a time" is saddeningly true.
The more rigorous areas are those with little time lag between input and output, and results that are easily verifiable. Do you die within 2 weeks of taking this drug or are you cured - strong results. Take this pill every day for 40 years to reduce your all factor mortality by 15% - not so much. An imploded sphere of plutonium either gives you a lump of metal or an earth shattering kaboom - no need for a second lab to reproduce.
Areas with high time lag and difficult verification/reproduction are more vulnerable to research and policy entrepreneurialism. Whether it's salt hypertension, red meat and heart disease, the Cornell Brand Lab, or much of sociology errors last for decades because of the high costs of verification and the low rewards.
You'll notice that nearly EVERYTHING that you consume comes with the State of California Cancer warning.
Another piece of guidance I like is this (paraphrased):
Eat absolutely anything you want. But make it all yourself. If you want cookies and cake and ice cream, great! Buy flour and sugar and butter and chocolate and milk and cream, and make them yourself.
Now, these don't directly address your point about conflicting research. They give reasonable heuristics that work well, though. Now, clearly you can come up with pathological examples that follow the advice above - any of us could come up with dozens that are reasonable. But being precise and 100% correct is not the point of a heuristic.
 Paraphrased from an interview in Cooked. The 4-part series was produced for Netflix.
This idea is not supported by the evidence.