The SaltThe Salt

What's On Your Plate

Mark Weborg, a fourth-generation fisherman in Door County, Wis. Amanda Vinicky/WUIS hide caption

itoggle caption Amanda Vinicky/WUIS
Emily Bogle/NPR

This dish — mussels smoked in pine needles and pine ash butter — was inspired by a 1605 recipe that the explorer Samuel de Champlain made for his men while traveling through Canada. It's one of many historically inspired items on the menu at the Toronto restaurant Boralia. Courtesy of Nick Merzetti hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Nick Merzetti

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Le louche refers to the transformation that happens when water is added to absinthe, turning the liquor from a deep green to a milky, iridescent shade. At left, a classic pour. At right, an absinthe glass fitted with a brouilleur, a device that holds the ice and lets water slowly drip down. Courtesy of Scott MacDonald hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Scott MacDonald

Joseph Severn's portrait of Percy Bysshe Shelley. The radical 19th century poet practiced the politics of the plate. For Shelley and other liberals of his day, keeping sugar out of tea was a political statement against slavery. Joseph Severn/Wikimedia hide caption

itoggle caption Joseph Severn/Wikimedia

An illustration from The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain, published in 1897. Between the 1860s and 1920, when Prohibition went into effect, American bartending came into its own. Internet Archive Book Images/Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption Internet Archive Book Images/Flickr

At Anise, a bar in Beirut, Lebanon, beloved local herbs like za'atar, sage and rosemary are making their way into cocktails. "We want to do something fresh in our cocktails," says co-owner Marwan Matar. Alice Fordham/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Alice Fordham/NPR

Iced tea made from local berries is served with melon and squares of sweet sticky rice topped with fruits and nuts. The nuns eat these sweets on head-shaving day, to replenish their energy. Ari Shapiro/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Ari Shapiro/NPR
Jennifer Fortner/Courtesy of Pineapple Whip

The Arc de Triomphe is visible behind a McDonald's restaurant on the Champs Elysees in Paris, France. The nation is now McDonald's second-biggest market, but one historic neighborhood known as "the belly of Paris" has pledged to keep it out. Alastair Miller/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Alastair Miller/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Beyond the fruit-sweetened stuff: Around the world, cooks turn to yogurt for a huge variety of culinary delights. From left: cast-iron chicken marinated in a yogurt-spice blend and topped with the Middle Eastern grain freekeh; a Persian cold yogurt soup; shitake frittata with labneh, kale and shallots. From Yogurt Culture by Cheryl Sternman Rule Ellen Silverman/Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt hide caption

itoggle caption Ellen Silverman/Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Everything Bagel: This yogurt from Sohha Savory Yogurt comes topped with roasted pine nuts, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, garlic, onion and extra virgin olive oil. Christina Holmes/Courtesy of Sohha Savory Yogurt hide caption

itoggle caption Christina Holmes/Courtesy of Sohha Savory Yogurt

A depiction of meal with cheese from Tacuinum Sanitatis, a medieval handbook on health and well-being based on the Taqwim al‑sihha, an 11th-century Arab medical treatise. via Wikimedia hide caption

itoggle caption via Wikimedia

Men line up at a takeaway food stand in the Saudi port of Jeddah in the early hours of August 26, 2011. Practicing Muslims eat their suhoor meal before dawn during the holy fasting month of Ramadan. Amer Hilabi/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Amer Hilabi/AFP/Getty Images

Waiter carriers pass food to passengers on a train stopping in Gordonsville, Va., in this undated photo. After the Civil War, local African-American women found a route to financial freedom by selling their famous fried chicken and other home-made goods track-side. Courtesy of the Town of Gordonsville hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the Town of Gordonsville

Afternoon Tea, 1886. Chromolithograph after Kate Greenaway. If you're looking for finger sandwiches, dainty desserts and formality, afternoon tea is your cup. Print Collector/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Print Collector/Getty Images

Art of the people: Fill a glass with hope, a butter sculpture crafted by Jim Victor and Marie Pelton. "People don't understand how [the sculpting] is done --€” it's like magic and just appears," Victor says. "But people understand butter." Courtesy of Jim Victor and Marie Pelton hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Jim Victor and Marie Pelton