I wouldn’t be surprised if most people who use kosher salt have no idea that it was created to soak up the blood in meat, purify it, and make it permissible to actually eat. But that’s OK. It shows just how much our religion has affected our cuisine, and I like that. In fact, I can’t think of any other spice that has religious observance attached to it in this way. The idea of salt is very important to Judaism: It’s sprinkled on challah during Shabbat to remind us of a covenant with God; when diluted in water, it stands in for the tears of slaves at the Passover Seder. And where would our appetizing shops and delis be without it? Salt is an ingredient that you can find in every Jewish kitchen in any culture, country, or place. One could argue that it’s also the reason why we Jews have always been… well, kind of salty.
Lior Lev Sercarz is the owner of La Boîte.