The SaltThe Salt

What's On Your Plate

White asparagus is the preferred variety in Germany, where it's commonly known as "white gold." When the vegetable is in season, there's a flurry of excitement — representative of the nation's enthusiasm for seasonal eating. John-Erik Jordan hide caption

itoggle caption John-Erik Jordan

Pedro Barros Diéguez and Albina Macia Fernández, the husband-and-wife owners of Casa Pages, a traditional bar in Barcelona. Many of the city's historic, family-run businesses are in danger of closing because of rising rents, spurred by a huge spike in tourism Courtesy of Devour Barcelona hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Devour Barcelona

Planning for battle? Napoleon's your man. Planning for breakfast? Not so much. Napoleon Crossing the Saint-Bernard Pass, 20 May 1800/Musee de l'Histoire de France/Corbis hide caption

itoggle caption Napoleon Crossing the Saint-Bernard Pass, 20 May 1800/Musee de l'Histoire de France/Corbis

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Chris Tremblay, a member of the Passive Acoustics group at NOAA's Northeast Fisheries Science Center, deploys an underwater recording device along the Eastern Seaboard to listen for the mating sounds of Atlantic cod. Courtesy of Chris Tremblay hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Chris Tremblay

Potato swirls at 626 Night Market in Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif. Brian Fung/Courtesy of 626 Night Market hide caption

itoggle caption Brian Fung/Courtesy of 626 Night Market

Winemaker Iago Bitarishvili makes wine in clay vessels called qvevri, which he buries underground and fills with white grapes. There are no barrels, vats or monitoring systems for this ancient Georgian method, which is helping drive sales. Bitarishvili plans to bury these new qvevri in his cellar to expand production. Daniella Cheslow for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Daniella Cheslow for NPR

In a village outside of Jenin, in the West Bank, Palestinian farmers harvest wheat early and burn the husks to yield the smoky, nutty grain known as freekeh. Daniella Cheslow for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Daniella Cheslow for NPR

What is pork roll? As one fan puts it, "It's like Spam meets bacon." This sandwich is one of many ways to eat the processed meat, a largely unsung specialty of New Jersey. via Wikimedia hide caption

itoggle caption via Wikimedia

A late 19th-century samovar made in Tula, Russia, a metalworking town south of Moscow. The very first samovar factory opened in Tula in 1778. As demand for samovars grew, the town became almost synonymous with the production of the giant hot-water urns. Sheldon Luskin Collection/The Museum of Russian Art, Minneapolis hide caption

itoggle caption Sheldon Luskin Collection/The Museum of Russian Art, Minneapolis

Nat Bradford holds a Bradford watermelon, known for its sweet, fragrant red flesh. The melon was created by Bradford's forefathers around 1840 and was once one of the most important and coveted melons of the South. Heather Grilliot/Courtesy of Bradford Watermelons hide caption

itoggle caption Heather Grilliot/Courtesy of Bradford Watermelons

American GIs line up in the street in Troina, Sicily, utensils and dishes in hand, as they wait for a meal from a large pot, July 1943. Oregano grows abundantly in Southern Italy, where many GIs encountered the herb for the first time, and fell in love. Many brought the craving back home with them after the war. U.S. Army/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption U.S. Army/Getty Images

A view inside the Kern's Kitchen factory in Louisville, Ky. Though lots of people in Kentucky have their own versions of what they call "derby pie," the Kern family trademarked the name "Derby-Pie" decades ago. And the Kerns are quite vigilant about protecting that brand name. Nina Feldman for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Nina Feldman for NPR

Jackson Pollock cooks with his wife, the artist Lee Krasner, and his mother, Stella Pollock, in the kitchen of his home in Springs, in East Hampton, N.Y., 1950. Courtesy Pollock‑Krasner House and Study Center hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy Pollock‑Krasner House and Study Center

In the Fortune Garden kitchen in El Centro, Calif., near the Mexican border, cooks speak to each other in Cantonese, and waiters give orders in Spanish. Courtesy of Vickie Ly/KQED hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Vickie Ly/KQED

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. Underwood & Underwood/Corbis hide caption

itoggle caption Underwood & Underwood/Corbis