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Chris Friede




Location: Austin
Joined: 15 Mar 2014

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PostPosted: Thu 30 Nov, 2017 12:38 pm    Post subject: Garum today?         Reply with quote

Okay--I know that Romans were obsessed with fermented fish sauce. How close an equivalent are Asian fish sauces like nuoc cham?
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M. Livermore





Joined: 20 Aug 2008

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PostPosted: Thu 30 Nov, 2017 2:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Garum was probably a bit less salty than nuoc cham.
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Roger Hooper




Location: Northern California
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PostPosted: Thu 30 Nov, 2017 3:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

From what I've read, one of the closest modern equivalents is Worcestershire sauce.
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David Wilson




Location: In a van down by the river
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PostPosted: Thu 30 Nov, 2017 3:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are recipes online for making garum, but I can't imagine that the process is very pleasant. The modern Asian fish sauces are often used to replicate ancient dishes that include garum in the recipe, but there is also a modern Italian fish sauce called colatura di alici, which, supposedly, is fairly close to the original recipe, although I have heard it is also probably a little saltier than garum would have been. I think, in any case, unless you get the itch to "roll your own" (again, not a pleasant process), either the Vietnamese or the Italian sauces will have to suffice (and really aren't that much different from garum anyway).
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Sa'ar Nudel




Location: Haifa, Israel
Joined: 02 Dec 2005
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PostPosted: Fri 01 Dec, 2017 1:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roger Hooper wrote:
From what I've read, one of the closest modern equivalents is Worcestershire sauce.


Indeed, as well some far-east Asian sauces.
I was involved with an experiment to recreate Garum from ancient Roman recipes (Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences, Haifa university). The study group was offered three types: pure Garum, honey Garum and vinegar Garum. All had an extremely strong flavor, not putrid, but almost impossible to swallow. One student described it like getting an electric shock directly to the tongue. Of course the sauce should have been consumed in small quantities with bread, fish or meat, not for itself.

Curator of Beit Ussishkin, regional nature & history museum, Upper Galilee.
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William M




Location: Buckinghamshire , England
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PostPosted: Fri 01 Dec, 2017 2:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hiya,

Last month I was in Ostia Antica and Rome and bought a Roman Cookbook. Garum is all over it so naturally I have been reading up on it and bought a modern version for myself to try.

I was interested in how something so incredibly popular faded into obscurity but the reason was fairly simple. The manufacturing process requires a lot of salt but after the roman fall, salt was very difficult to get hold of as it was heavily taxed and difficult to manufacture in bulk due to pirate raids on the coasts.

Anyways it survived in two small Italian towns where the recipe was re-discovered by some monks. The modern version is called Colatura di alici and is widely available online. In Ancient rome there were many different grades of Garum as everybody from the emperor to the lowest slave would be eating it. I am not sure where the modern version sits on this scale.

Example: https://www.amazon.com/Delfino-Cetara-Colatura-Anchovy-Extract/dp/B008SDVKX2/ref=sr_1_3_s_it?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1512123916&sr=1-3&keywords=colatura+di+alici
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Dan D'Silva





Joined: 28 Apr 2007

Posts: 107

PostPosted: Fri 01 Dec, 2017 3:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sa'ar,

Did anyone involved compare the re-created garum with modern fish sauces?
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Bruno Giordan





Joined: 28 Sep 2005

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PostPosted: Sat 30 Dec, 2017 5:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Italian wikipedia gives some different recipes. It seems it was a name to cover several fish sauces, one was extremely costly and imported from Tunisia

https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garum

in the Fonti section you have the recipe sources.

Colatura di alici, from what I gather, is just one option that is being still used today

Many different fishes could be used as well, even if it seems garum is the rendition of the greek garon, name of the fish used in the original greek recipe

Garum was also called liquamen (liquid residual), while non liquid product of filtration would be called allec

(synthesis from wikipedia)
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Bruno Giordan





Joined: 28 Sep 2005

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PostPosted: Sat 30 Dec, 2017 6:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

consider also the oenogarum (recipe from codex sangallensis 762, extract from Medicina Plini)

http://www.discipulus.it/la-preparazione-del-...nt-page-1/
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Sa'ar Nudel




Location: Haifa, Israel
Joined: 02 Dec 2005
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PostPosted: Mon 01 Jan, 2018 3:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan D'Silva wrote:
Sa'ar,

Did anyone involved compare the re-created garum with modern fish sauces?


Yes, it is actually very similar, yet the Garum is (somewhat) more radical.

Curator of Beit Ussishkin, regional nature & history museum, Upper Galilee.
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