It is a truth universally acknowledged that relationships often have one partner who loves salty olives, and another who hates them. But why do some people like salty food over, you know, dessert? The answer, according to science, is more complicated than you might think: it has to with everything from your personality, to your genetics, to a kind of protein found in your spit, according to one study.
Salt may have been crucial to the development of human evolution. It's thought that human hunting patterns may have been influenced by salt licks; as tasty animals gravitated towards salty areas to get their dose of NaCl, humans followed, and consumed salt in their meat. It's a myth that the word salary comes from Roman soldiers receiving their pay in salt (they were paid in money, like any sensible army), but salt has been a huge part of human culture since the ancient world, forming the basis of trade alliances and building up huge empires, even if these days it's seen as little more than a table condiment and a sometime health hazard. Humans require table salt for health and detect its taste on their tastebuds with great accuracy (often far more intensely than sugar). But if you've got a serious salt tooth, there can be other factors involved beyond a craving for tortilla chips.