Salt and pepper together became the cornerstones of modern cooking.
Salt, or sodium chloride, is vital for our daily bodily function, early man got all its necessary salt (about six grams a day is recommended) from an animal diet.
As agriculture developed, salt became a tradeable product, a currency, and the basis for many ancient economies, informing language, and starting wars and revolutions.
Of course, salt was used to preserve food pre-refrigeration too.
Pepper also became a similar commodity in the spice trade, where it was used to mask the flavour of rotting meat on long sea journeys between India and the Orient, and Europe.
It’s Louis XIV of France who was said to have brought the two together (only the rich could afford pepper), preferring as he did his food to be lightly seasoned with just salt and pepper, forming the basis for modern cooking.