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A Hindu servant serves tea to a European colonial woman in the early 20th century. The British habit of adding tea to sugar wasn't merely a matter of taste: It also helped steer the course of history. Corbis/Underwood & Underwood hide caption

itoggle caption Corbis/Underwood & Underwood

Matzo ball soup with dill. Matzo represents the unleavened bread the Jews ate while fleeing Egypt. Jessica and Lon Binder/Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption Jessica and Lon Binder/Flickr

A rabbi (center) supervises the production of Passover matzos at the Streit's factory on New York's Lower East Side, circa 1960s. This Passover will be Streit's last one at the landmark location. AP hide caption

itoggle caption AP

A vintage postcard (circa 1930-1945) shows the HoJo's on U.S. Alternate Route I, in Fredericksburg, Va. Boston Public Library/Flickr hide caption

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"This lamb ham is sweet, buttery and smoky, with just a hint of lamb flavor," says Sam Edwards, one of the Virginians who is bringing back the colonial style of curing lamb. Courtesy of Sammy Edwards hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Sammy Edwards

A Palestinian Bedouin girl milks a sheep in her family's makeshift camp in the West Bank. Herders live close to their animals, their main source of income. Emily Harris/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Emily Harris/NPR

Vanilla is seemingly a prima donna spice because its pods have to be hand-pollinated and then boiled and dried in the direct sun for only one hour. iStockphoto hide caption

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A sampling of the multicourse menu served at the Gout de France dinner at the French embassy in Washington, D.C.: (clockwise from top left): seasonal vegetables with winter truffle Bayonne ham crisps; slowly cooked monkfish with fennel pollen flavors in "Armoricaine" sauce; Ariane apple and Guanaja chocolate onctueux; Saint-Nectaire cheese and grilled bread with nuts and raisins. Meredith Rizzo/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Pig farmer Armando Escaño stands with his Iberian pigs on his farm on western Spain's dehesa. Escaño raises pigs for jamón ibérico, Spain's most prized ham. Lauren Frayer for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Lauren Frayer for NPR

Inside Chef Chane's tiny kitchen. Every few months or years, his landlord — taking note of Chane's popularity — will raise the rent, or a conniving official will demand a bribe. Then, instead of bowing to the system, Chane will disappear and set up in a new location. Gregory Warner/NPR hide caption

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Mas Masumoto grew up on his family farm southeast of Fresno, Calif. His 1987 essay "Epitaph for A Peach," in which he bemoaned the loss of heirloom flavors, captured his changing philosophy as a farmer. It also helped turn his farm into a landmark in the local-food movement. Dan Charles/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Dan Charles/NPR

An illustration from a book published in 1851 depicts the cultivation of tea in China. In the mid-19th century, China controlled the world's tea production. That soon changed, thanks to a botanist with a penchant for espionage. Internet Archive hide caption

itoggle caption Internet Archive

Frida Kahlo's passion for food was evident in her many still lifes of fruit, like this painting entitled "The Bride Frightened at Seeing Life Opened." She was also known for her raucous dinner parties in Mexico City. Wikiart hide caption

itoggle caption Wikiart

Traditional desserts, like these served in 2010 at the original Naranj restaurant in Damascus, offer sweet, familiar flavors at the restaurant's various locations in the Middle East. A platter like this shows up at the end of every meal at Naranj, and all the pastries are made in-house. Jan Smith/Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption Jan Smith/Flickr

(Left) Sauerkraut and sausage (foreground) cook on the stove at the Hutte Restaurant. (Right) Diners Roxanne Singhisen and Nick Lockyer of Pittsburgh chat at the Hutte. Pat Jarrett for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Pat Jarrett for NPR

Semlor served at FIKA in New York City. "The interest [in semlor] is huge," says Lena Khoury, the Swedish cafe chain's director of strategy and communications. Courtesy of FIKA hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of FIKA