Ode to My Pantry: Salt

Learning to feed yourself can be one of the most terrifying things. Am I about to give myself food poisoning? If I eat this too often will I end up with scurvy? How can I get the most nutritional bang for my buck? Why does this still taste like ass?

With Ode to My Pantry, learn to navigate a grocery store without having a meltdown in aisle three. Give a man a fish and feed him for a day, teach a queer to cook and stave off malnutrition for another semester.


It’s funny that salt went from “that white stuff that comes paired with your pepper” to the condiment du jour. Even though it seems so simple, you have plenty of aisles, stores and blogs elevating it to mythical levels. Whereas there was once only table salt, now there are various colours, shapes, grades and flavours.  Are they worth the hype? Are they actually that different? Part of me says I haven’t drank the briney koolaid, but my spice rack tells a different tale. What can I say? I’m a sucker for colour gradients and impulse purchases at high pressure craft shows. Next time you’re staring down the offerings of your local spice shop or artisanal salt importer, soothe your fear and indecisiveness with more shitty haikus. Or go back to basics and blow your entire paycheque on some sodium chloride.

Popcorn Salt
Teensy tiny flakes
Will stick to all of your veg
Like salty velcro

Table Salt
One redeeming trait
Will fit through salt shakers’ holes
Save for baking

Kosher Salt
Pinchable snowflakes
Oddly, doesn’t taste “as harsh”
Listen to Alton

Rock Salt
Use it to melt ice
So you don’t kill your postman
Or make them ice cream

Himalayan Pink Salt
A giant pink gem
Impress your guests with its size
Or make a weird lamp

Hawaiian Black Salt
Like bits of charcoal
That get confused for pepper
Note to self: labels

 Fleur de Sel
Look over to France
When you want to be fancy
Try not to waste it

Smoked Salt
Everything’s bacon
Or smells like campfire.
I think that’s a pro

Celery Salt

photo (1)
It’s my brunch garnish
Have I said I love Caesars?
Fuck Bloody Marys

Seasoning Salt

You can make your own
Experiment with spices
But you can’t say “Bam!”

Bacon Salt
How can it be veg?
When it tastes like fucking meat
“Low Sodium” eh?

Soy Sauce

Okay it’s not salt
But it as just as briney
And comes pre-dissolved

Potassium Salt
Switch out sodium
If you’re worried ’bout your health
I’ll risk heart disease

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Hailing from Vancouver, Kristen's still trying to figure out how to survive Montreal's Real Legitimate Canadian Winter. So far she's discovered that warm socks, giant toques and Tabby kittens all play a role in her survival. Her ultimate goal is to rank higher than KStew in the "Kristen + Autostraddle" Google Search competition.

Kristen has written 139 articles for us.


  1. So, my dad has kidney disease/failure/suckage, so I grew up without salt in my food. Now that I’m all grown up and things, I cook with sea salt, but I often omit it because I realized growing that a lot of foods have salt in them (like cheese), and therefore, something like lasagna (or most Italian dishes) don’t need added salt.

  2. I honest to god thought it said “sticks to all of your vag” and wondered momentarily why anyone would be salting their ladybits.

    “Hey babe, did you pick up the chocolate body paint?”
    “No, it was too expensive. Popcorn salt was on sale though!”

  3. Helpful to know.

    Also, I almost died when I realized that you were describing salt in haiku form. This plus the fact that it JUST started snowing in Jersey makes my day/season/last-chunk-of-the-year.

  4. A story about guests and salt lamps:

    A couple years ago my hippie aunt bought me one of those salt lamps. Several weeks ago I had a new acquaintance over who did not believe that it was made of salt. She proceeded to LICK MY LAMP. I was slightly scarred by the sight of watching a near complete stranger LICK MY LAMP.

    Guys, DON’T LICK OTHER PEOPLE’S LAMPS. It’s not cool.

  5. The word ‘salary’ derives from the word salt.

    Salt is the most important fucking thing in the world. I don’t believe in much, but I believe that.

  6. definitely misread ‘veg’ as ‘vag’ and had a brief panicky moment of a.) why would you put that there and b.) is that actually good and i’m missing out?

  7. OMG
    You are the only person/website i’ve ever come across that has understood my love for salt. SALT IS RAD.

    • Me and my sister recently admitted to each other that as kids we used to cover doors/windows in our (shared) bedroom in salt to keep out witches haha..

  8. Well, Muslim Christmas is a lot like Jewish Christmas except with Indian food. Im spending a few days with my sister in Cleveland and were gonna do our nails/eyebrows and bake and maybe go see Perks of Being a Wallflower (which I read overnight as to not break my rule of reading-the-book-before-i-see-the-movie)

    Im excited for this Christmas!

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