Collecting salt in Asia
Collecting salt in Asia
© O. Barbaroux

To prepare a dish, it is usual to combine several foods, to add condiments and to bind these products together by cuisine thickenings and sauces...

The condiments include sugar, salt, spices and all the ingredients to make sauces. They provide the taste, pleasant odours or major flavours.

Honey is certainly the oldest sweetening substance. The earliest sugar-producing plants were sugarcane and maple-tree. Later on came sugar-beet and corn.

Spice box in Rajasthan
Spice box in Rajasthan
Coll. Agropolis-Museum

Salt may be either collected from salt-marshes or extracted from rock-salt (halite) deposited in former times as salt crusts by the seas.

Numerous spices (ginger, saffron, curry) are producing pleasant smells in our kitchens and dishes, and have been one of the main reasons for men to sail the seas.

In the Mediterranean garrigue full of odours and flavours, aromatic thyme, rosemary and other aromatic plants may be gathered.