Before industrialization, it was very expensive and labor intensive to harvest the mass quantities of salt necessary for food.
Iron Age, the British evaporated salt by boiling seawater or brine from salt springs in small clay pots over open fires. Roman salt making, boiling the seawater in large lead lined pans. Salt was used as currency in ancient Rome, and the roots of the words "soldier" and "salary" can be traced to Latin words related to giving or receiving salt. During the Middle Ages, salt was transported along roads built especially for that purpose. One of the most famous of these roads is the Old Salt Route in Northern Germany, which ran from the salt mines to shipping ports.
Salt production also played a significant role in early America. The Massachusetts Bay Colony held the first patent to produce salt in the colonies and continued to produce it for the next 200 years. The Erie Canal was opened primarily to make salt transportation easier, and during the Civil War, Union captured significant Confederate salt works and created a temporary salt shortage in the Confederate states. It continues to be important to the economies of many states, including Ohio, Louisiana and Texas.
Research Source: How Stuff Works
These pork chops are tender and moist.
Brined Pork Chops
Recipe by Christine Lamb (Christine’s Pantry), 2015
2 cups water
2 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 bay leaf
2 to 4 pork chops
black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon garlic powder
olive oil, just enough to cover bottom of skillet
In a shallow bowl, add water and salt, stir well. Add bay leaf and pork chops. Cover, refrigerate for 1 hour.
Remove pork chops from water, pat dry with paper towels. Season both sides of pork chops with black pepper and garlic powder. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Sear chops in hot skillet, 6 minutes, turning once.
Place chops in baking dish and place in preheated oven, 400 degrees. Cook about 6 minutes, until chops are cooked through. Enjoy!