The supereme rulers of seasoning amongst the Western world. Front row in every spice rack, accomplices in every seasoning escapade, their seat at every table well and truly cemented. Iconic, reliable, modest in their position of prestige. The one and only, Salt and Pepper.
The duo are forever entwined in a perfect harmony. But what makes this matrimony work so well? Light and dark, up and down, yes and no, all equally iconic partnerships but they lack one very key trait- The freedom of independence. The afore mentioned examples cannot exist without their counterpart, a formidable pairing, yes! But alone? Incomplete.
What distinguishes our beloved condament coalition is the fact that both Salt and Pepper are highly regarded individuals of their own accord. Salt is praised for it's, erm, ‘saltiness’ and moreover its ability to enhance an array of food, coaxing out the best natural flavour. Pepper is renowned for precisely the opposite, it's fiery bite boasts power and pungency.Hungry to steal the spotlight if not carefully tamed. As with all life's great pairings, opposites attract.
So how did this infamous union come to be? Salt has long defended it’s position of culinary dominance, it’s use in the kitchen traced back as far as the Middle Ages. But there is something more innate in our attraction to salt, a natural instinct that draws us to the taste as it is an indication of protein. Also, as I know all too well, salt is dangerously moreish- the more we eat, the more we then crave! As for Pepper, it’s foothold in the elite circle of spices is relatively recently established. As more spices were swept into the realm of deserts, salt and spice did not initially fit the bill and instead remained staples in savoury dishes. The two would have danced around one another in culinary experiments until their compatibility became evident even to those with the least refined of palettes. Fate is credited with the ability to bring perfect pairings together and fates forces certainly seem to have been at work here! Salt and Pepper’s union was one written in the stars.
You'll rarely read a recipe that is not punctuated by the parting message: 'Season with Salt and Pepper.' But even this seems insufficient, my appetite for the pair seems insatiable. I can't remember the last time I ate a meal in their absence. Hell, most of the time I won't even take a bite before reaching across the table for their familiar form, the black and white specks are a welcome addition to (almost) any meal.
In fact their very presence is reassuring. If you're ever stuck in a showdown, face to face with a meal which, well, leaves a little more to be desired to say the least, there they are. Like two shining stars in a desolate night sky, guiding you from the perils of blandness into a haven of flavour.
Now I don't want to Push it... too far but might I argue that their compatibility transcends the world of food. All girl Hip-Hop group, Salt-N-Pepa gifted us tune after tune throughout their illustrious career, ‘Whatta Man’, ‘Let’s talk about Sex’, need I go on? I, for one, think these ladies' success serves as convincing evidence that Salt and Pepper is a match made in heaven no matter the context!
Quite simply, Salt and Pepper bring out the best in one another. Really don’t we all crave a companionship such that these condiments have found? The company of another to bring us balance, compliment our virtues and step in where we fall short.
Global sweethearts, nestled shoulder to shoulder in hearts and homes the world over.
Salt and Pepper, life itself would be bland without them.