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Salty, bitter and pungent
The most famous exaggerator of taste is the common cooking salt (NaCl); it has its own very specific taste, but it makes simultaneously the taste of the food more distinct and more pleasant. It is hardly necessary to remind that in the past there were even wars because of the salt and that today people very often misuse it. Tolerance as well as psychic dependency can easily be acquired towards; for example Indians, who were not aware of it until the white man came, after which they liked it very much and use it very often ever since. The excessive usage of salt, from which suffer most of the people today, leads to hypertonia and other illnesses, which shorten life considerably. The reason for this is the disturbance of the balance in the organism between sodium and potassium, which is very important for the proper functioning of each sell. This balance is also very important for the work done by the excitant tissues – the heart and the nervous system.
The pepper (Piper nigrum), which native land is Southeast Asia, was well known even during the Roman conquests. After the empire disintegrated the old trade routes were cut off and the food of the Europeans soon became plain, but the crusades revived the aspiration for everything new and exotic. Despite their high price spices soon were again present on the table. They became a symbol of the rich people; for the people today it is very hard to imagine what big amounts of spices every rich man took in two or three centuries ago. The most wanted and the most expensive one was the pepper; back then they used to say “expensive as pepper”, “rich as a bagful of pepper”, etc. We should definitely mention that namely the spices were the main stimulus, which forced the kings and the merchants to finance the Great Geographical Discoveries. The expedition of Magellan sailed away with 5 ships and crew of more than 300 men. After 3 years time only one ship returned with 18 half-dead men on board, but it was all filled up with bags of pepper and other spices, and those who invested their money in the first journey around the world definitely got that money back. By the same time in Europe came the challis, which were also brought from America.