This week’s magazine focuses on one of my favourite things, food. If that doesn’t make you stop what you are doing and give me your full attention, then I don’t know what will. I hereby present you with the first edition of Salt and Wonder. I have very kindly been sent a copy of their first ever magazine and I am honoured to hold it in my hands. Salt and Wonder was brought about by a love for culinary start-ups and the culture surrounding these movements. The first edition, titled ‘The New Old Lisbon’ revolves around new and old food trends mixing, being revived and most of all loved and enjoyed. They have a planned frequency of once a year, revolving around different cities each time, and I already cannot wait to see the evolution of this publication.
On one of the first few pages they provide an explanation to the meanings of salt and wonder. At first they seem abstract, but in context of the magazine they sum up the whole thing in just sentences. Salt is the search for the unique and alive and the thirst for more. Wonder is the hunger for discovery and innovation. Wonder is the search for new knowledge – the seed of surprise. They explain the stories as the ingredients and the magazine as the Portuguese meal, a comparison I find a perfect fit to the values of Salt and Wonder.
Salt and Wonder is the brainchild of Anna Sarcletti, a young creative from the Austrian countryside who, having met the second half of the magazine, Thomas in Lisbon, decided to venture into the world of print to create something of importance. S&W is a reflection of their own experiences and perspectives that they have gained whilst travelling and experiencing the wonders of Lisbon’s food culture. The main part of the magazine features 8 different individual stories and features, my personal favourite being the Copenhagen Coffee Lab which brings the Nordic coffee culture to the South. It is fascinating to read about the development of their company, the struggles faced when trying to bring something new to the strong coffee culture which is already firmly established in Lisbon, and the hope that by going against the tradition, they can prosper in this Portuguese city.
The main concept of the magazine is to bring to life smaller narratives. Too often we focus on people of ‘interest’, we glamourise the lives of people and wish we lived a life like them. But too often these lives are not only distorted by the media to appear much more fulfilled than they may actually be, but they often require a celebrity status, a singing career, a long list of feature films on your IMDb page. We place these inspiring lifestyles so out of reach and attempt to make do with what we feel we have to. But it is magazines like Salt and Wonder which challenge these ideals and present completely ordinary people and their stories. They have created a life for themselves with maybe exactly the same circumstances that surround you. S&W provides us with a reality rather than an abstract idea and I hope that one day I will have a story worthy enough to be told.
But it is not just the written content which makes this magazine a must-have, it is everything in between which ties the edition together. A particularly strong feature of Salt and Wonder is it’s photography and it’s ability to capture real life. Whilst some shots are purposefully set-up, the majority capture the movements and flows of these people’s everyday and that is something which helps bring the stories to life in a visual, not just as descriptive, way. At the end of the day, a city is a product of individual stories, and S&W captures this notion perfectly. The design of the overall product is an absolute dream. The paper used is thick and ever so slightly textured which brings life right into your hands and the use of muted colours and a white and grey palette ties every page into a single narrative.
Salt and Wonder is an incredible publication that celebrates the achievements of culinary culture and supports this movement away from dominant narratives. It is finished to an extremely high quality and it will always hold a solid spot in my magazine collection. I cannot wait to see what the future looks like for Salt and Wonder and I will be following their journey for sure. If you like the idea behind the magazine and I have enticed you into wanting a copy, I am leaving all the vital links below as to where to find a copy locally or online.