Re: Web Sites & Others
- In a message dated 11/30/99 6:07:04 PM Eastern Standard Time,
<< www.geocities.com/Athens/Ithaca/8337 >>
The link to the recipes is the Living History button and then you have to
scroll down the page past the stove description until you get to them.
This part of the site on Garum is particularly interesting:
- I had promised last week to post some discussion that took place on another
list regarding garum. I would like to note that there are 3 people discussing
the issue and all three have given permission to use these posts. The posters
are Anahita, Adamantius and our own Marco Bernini. I have edited some of the
content, but I have not altered the information presented.
I hope this is enlightening to all who read it.
A Discussion on Garum
The difference between anchovy paste, soy sauce, nuac mam (Asian fish sauces)
The process is different, to say the least. Soybeans are boiled,drained,
mashed and formed into cakes, which are then left in a darkplace to grow a
particular mold (as you mention in another context, astarter may be added) in
a process pretty similar to that used formaking sake. The mold-converted
cakes are then steeped several times toproduce different grades f soy sauce,
and some people eat the leftovercakes, which are believed to be the cause of
the extremely high rate ofstomach cancer in populations where soy sauce is
made locally. Nevermind that so many Asians, even now, are chain smokers. But
this is also,I believe, the source of Charles Perry's theory that murri may
be acarcinogen, or contain carcinogens, because soy sauce is far, far
morelike murri than like Asian fish sauce.
> >What happens is that the fish liquefy over time as the coarse salt meltsand> >a thick lumpy brine is formed.
And this is due not to the salt, either, but to the presence of enzymes in
great amounts in the fish entrails, and to a lesser extent in the muscle
itself (Some Philipino versions of bagoong, I think it's called,are made with
gutted fish: they'd likely be the source of the idea that these sauces are
supposed to be sour as well as salty and fishy).
> What i'm not certain of is: how different is the liquid from this> stuff,finely strained, is from fish sauce? How different is the> process of
producing Southeast Asian fish sauce from that of> producing liquamen/garum?
According to some authorities, not much, provided there's enough salt
toprevent lactic fermentation, which does occur in some Asian fish sauces,but
not in all.
> I've watched the beginnings of making some shrimp paste in an> Indonesianvillage (strictly for local use), and it was basically> layering tiny shrimp
with salt and letting it stand, although i don't> know if there was some
sort of "starter" (along the lines of mother
> of vinegar, or yeast, or using yogurt to start a new batch) orAnahita
> something was introduced later in the process...
No starter, AFAIK. I've seen this shrimp paste in jars in my
neighborhood, in several forms, some made from dried shrimp, producing a
mysterious purplish paste, others grey or nearly white, depending on
differences in the process according to different regional traditions.
> After reading enough oldYa think? ; ) As I said, the toga, real Latin, and a dislike for
> cookbooks, it seems to me that some things have disappeared from
> cuisines, while new things have become popular. I don't think it can
> be assumed that if something was important in the Roman Empire it
> would necessarily survive virtually unchanged for 1500 years. Maybe
> it did, but it seems to me highly likely that time did not stand
> still even in isolated Italian country villages.
Certain North African Empires comes to mind as social factors that have
simply become extinct. I'm sure there are other culinary examples that
come to mind: certain of the wine preparations, for example, the habit
of boiling and pureeing vegetables only to thicken them again into
custards, probably the extensive use of pennyroyal. I'm sure there are others.
> However, i like anchovies on my pizza and in my Caesar salad (yeah, iMexican of Italian descent, however.
> know, not Italian).
> And i have no objection to anchovy paste. So ifReal garum seems to taste pretty close to anchovy paste, but the color
> anchovy paste is like liquamen/garum, i can live with that.
> So, since you've tasted a liquamen made the old
> Roman way, how different is it from fish sauce? How different from
> liquified anchovy paste? Would a blend of the two in any way
> approximate it, or would that be far too different?
and texture aren't even close, and the aroma of either is actually
rather mild compared to what you might expect. I guess it would depend
on your use. What I tasted was a clear yellowish-to-amber liquid, with a
body or "mouth feel" like ale; it's as if it had a high enough specific
gravity you could taste it -- it's a bit heavier than the SE Asian fish
sauces I'm familiar with. A slight oiliness, but not much -- I assume
this is natural fish oil. Garum was always thought to be an extremely
healthy food product, provided you're not a tunny or a mackerel... . It
definitely tasted of anchovies, and then so did the nam pla that was
placed alongside it for comparison, but they weren't the same. I think
perhaps the trace of oil was missing from the nam pla. Maybe if one were
to blenderize a can of anchovies in oil in nam pla or another
non-vinegar-based fish sauce, then let the solids settle out, that'd be
a closer approximation. I'm also a bit surprised that some of the
"quick" boiled versions haven't been experimented with more. I think
it's what Flower and Rosenbaum used for their various trials of Roman
> (i don't think i'm ready to keep a jar of fish and salt layered in myNo, silly, you keep it in a sunny part of the back yard!
> kitchen, although possibly some day...)
Marco Bernini writes,
Below is a recipe from Gargilius Martialis 3rd C AD as published in the
excellent book �A Cena da Lucullo� by Ilaria Gozzini Giacosa (published in
English as �A Taste of Ancient Rome�) plus a quick and clean variation that I
have developed myself from a modern day Roman salad dressing.
Garum (Gargilius Martialis 3C AD)
Use fresh fatty fish e.g.. anchovies, sardines or mackerel.
Dried aromatic herbs such as: dill, coriander, fennel, celery seed, mint,
oregano and rosemary.
Coarse sea salt
Clean and wash the fish removing heads fins and guts if desired. (the guts
impart a bitter flavour) Taking a large preserving or pickling jar (the wider
the better) place a generous layer of herbs on the the bottom of the jar then
place a layer of fish on the top (cutting the fish into sections if it is
large) placing them fairly tightly packed.
Over this add a layer of coarse sea salt (must be sea salt) about � inch
thick! Repeat these three layers till you have filled the jar to the top.
Let the container rest in the sun for seven days (this is the traditional
Then mix the sauce daily for a further twenty days. After that time it
becomes a liquid and can be filtered if necessary.
Here is a quickish clean garum of my own:
6 tubes of anchovy paste, (or 12 small tins of anchovy fillets drained and
liquidized) � teaspoon of each of the above herbs but fresh if possible.
1 clove of Garlic (crush it with the side of a knife)
Good olive oil
Finely chop the herbs and place in a bowl. Add the anchovy paste, add the
crushed garlic clove, ground black pepper (the quantity will dictate the
�hotness� of the garum) a little vinegar and the olive oil, mix well (in
ablender if necessary)
The resulting sauce should pour easily, if not add more oil or white wine if
you like. Store in the fridge for a day before use and always shake well
adding to recipes. Use sparingly as it is salty and often replaces salt in
recipes. Makes an excellent dressing for lettuce and rocket salads, the
traditional Roman hors d�oeuvre and is used in Rome today to dress
�puntarelle� a salad leaf from the dandelion family that has been eaten in
and around Rome for more than 2,000 years.Enjoy!
P.S. If you should keel over with food poisoning after trying the ancient
recipe I deny any responsibility! :)