Love like Salt.

This story's been on my mind of late. A project requiring the narrative of breadmaking brought it up. I've been trying to trace my knowledge of the tale, feels like I've known it forever.

I think the version in my head's an amalgamation of various folk tales though, because all the ones I've found here neglect the bread-making part where the princess in hiding shows her reciprocating love for the prince via a ring in the dough (kind of like the Gallette des Rois where you get to be King or Queen for the day if you find la feve).

Anyway, the basic story is this. (Shakespeare kind of stole it for King Lear):

A king asks his three daughters how much they love him. The first two give boring quantitative answers, something to do with constellations or Gold. The youngest daughter says "I love you as much as meat needs salt." This signifies to him that she doesn't love him so much, and she's banished from the kingdom.

She travels to another kingdom where she works in the kitchen of the palace. The Prince there falls in love with her, and slips her a ring in a glass of water to show her how he feels. In the kitchen she cooks him bread with the ring in it. He bites on it; they decide to get married.

On their wedding day the princess tells her kitchen friends not to salt any of the food for the celebration. Her dad turns up at the wedding but doesn't recognise her, and realises how much she loved him during the course of the meal. At the end of the wedding she reveals herself to her father, and they are reconciled.

Check out the German version of the folk tale for pared-down salt analogies. 5 lines! My favourite one being:
"He then recognized how important salt was, and that his daughter had spoken very positively."

And in the Indian version, one of the daughters adds "I love you as sherbet." What? Sherbet's pretty awesome though. I discovered that it takes 1.5 minutes in the microwave for the stuff to transform into a glue-like paste the other day. (| was building a flying saucer superstructure.. don't ask.)

Anyway, in conclusion, salt is important. I've always known this, but it's nice to have myths to back me up. I might get heart disease one day, but at least I'll know why.


Blogger alex bkbk said...

sweet!! ur, i mean , you know

great flickr image feed btw

14/12/05 16:15  

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