Thursday, 5 January 2017

TALES OF TALLINN - The Salt Trade (Sool)

One of the most important goods imported to Tallinn during the Middle Ages, was salt. Known as “the white gold” it was extremely valuable and used as one of the currencies in the Hanseatic League. The flavouring was mainly brought in from Brouages and Baie in France as well as Portugal and Lüneburg, Germany.

For thousands of years salt has been the best-known food preservative. Today, approximately 1,5 kg of salt is used per person each year while 600 years ago it was four times more.

In the 15th century, more than 100 shiploads of salt arrived in the port of Tallinn. It was transported unpacked in the ship's interior and once the salt arrived, it was quickly loaded into smaller boats and taken to shore. From there the salt was taken to the weighing house (Vaekoda) on the Town Hall Square where it was crushed, weighed and divided into smaller bags. Most of it was sold to Novgorod, Finland and Sweden.

The income obtained from salt trade was stored into the walls and houses of Tallinn. This is the reason we have a saying - it is a city built on salt.

Source: Reval Denim Guild on Facebook. 'Tales of Tallinn - Salt'. (Lood Tallinnast - Sool))