I received an interesting call the other day from a correspondent preparing story for the Chicago Tribune. She had heard from an author that so little salt was consumed in Finland that there was actually no word for it in the Finnish language. This struck me as rather odd because the Finns are known to consume among the highest levels of salt in the world. How could that be possible without having a word for the world's favorite condiment? Might a typical conversation around the kitchen table go something like this?
Olga, this soup is perfect, you added just the right amount of white stuff and pepper. Would you mind passing the white stuffine crackers, they go perfect with this soup.
Oh, I'm glad you like it Paavo, guess what's up next?
Don't tell me it's my favorite, white stuff herring or perhaps some of your excellent white stuff pork and beans? Olga, my darling, you are really the white stuff of the earth.
Sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? In fact, it didn't take long to set the record straight. The word for salt in Finland is suola. Another urban legend destroyed!
Sometimes you have to take some authors with a pinch of suola… or white stuff!!