Salt and pepper

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Salt and pepper is the common name for edible salt and ground black pepper, which are traditionally paired on Western dining tables where food is eaten so as to allow for the additional seasoning of food after its preparation. During food preparation or cooking, they may also be added in combination, even mixed together. They may be considered condiments or seasonings; salt is a mineral and black pepper is a spice.

The pairing of salt and pepper as table accessories dates to seventeenth-century French cuisine, which considered black pepper (distinct from herbs such as fines herbes) the only spice that did not overpower the true taste of food.[1] They are typically found in a set (pair) of salt and pepper shakers, often a matched set.[2] Salt and pepper are typically maintained in separate shakers on the table, but may be mixed in the kitchen. Some food writers like Sara Dickerman have argued that, in modern cookery, a new spice could be used in place of the historic ground black pepper.[3][4]

In Hungary, paprika may replace pepper on the dinner table, and in Basque cuisine, Espelette pepper frequently replaces black pepper.


  1. ^ Shrem, Max (August 19, 2008). "When did salt and pepper become a pair?". Archived from the original on August 17, 2008.
  2. ^ Jacewicz, Natalie (2 February 2018). "How Did Salt And Pepper Become The Soulmates Of Western Cuisine?". NPR. Retrieved 24 November 2019.
  3. ^ Dickerman, Sara (4 January 2012). "Against Pepper". Slate. Retrieved 24 November 2019.
  4. ^ Wilson, Bee (3 October 2019). "Salt and Pepper Are No Longer Enough". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 24 November 2019.