Salt and pepper

Salt and pepper is the common name for edible salt and black pepper, which are traditionally paired on dining tables where European-style food is eaten so as to allow for the seasoning of food. 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 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 of salt and pepper shakers, often a matched set. 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 black pepper.

In Hungary, paprika may replace pepper on the dinner table.


  1. "When did salt and pepper become a pair?", Max Shrem, Archived August 19, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
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