Colatura di Alici

Kitchen Knife Forums

Help Support Kitchen Knife Forums:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
garum journey starts today i guess.

i couldn't find any oily fish like sardine and anchovies in the market, so i bought some croaker fish from the boat to fry and just used the heads and trimmings in the garum jar. 3.5:1 fish to kosher salt.

didn't making Garum involve the liquid dripping into the container?
I read up a few months ago, but the experiment was vetoed ;-)


Roman fish sauce​

The best of kinds of garum sold by fish sauce tradesman Aulus Umbricius Scaurus. Source: Wikimedia - Claus Ableiter

Garum or liquamen​

Garum is one of the basic ingredients in the cuisine of Roman antiquity. It is a fish sauce that was used to salt dishes. One can’t simply use kitchen salt in recipes, because instead of extracting moisture (which is what salt does), garum adds moisture to a dish.
When preparing an authentic Roman dish, this sauce is a necessary ingredient, especially when using recipes from De Re Coquinaria. It is used in much the same way as our Worcestershire Sauce or Maggi: one adds it in small quantities to a dish. The fish sauce is not meant to be used as a sauce on its own.
There are two ways to acquire fish sauce. One can buy Eastern fish sauce, like Vietnamese Nuoc Mam or Thai Nam Pla. These sauces are made with fermented fish, salt and water. But more fun is experimenting with home-made garum.

Many roads lead to garum​

There are several Latin sources that describe making garum. In Geoponica (edition T. Owen, see bibliography, XX, 46), cited extensively by Faas (Around the Roman Table, see bibliography), five manners of making garum are described.
1. Small fish are covered with salt, spread out in the sun and turned from time to time. When they have been completely fermented they are scooped into a fine-meshed basket that is hanging in a vase. The liquid that seeps into the vase is liquamen.
2. This is the method that I’ll call the Method Wunderlich (see below). Fish (anchovy, mackerel, tuna) is mixed with salt in a ratio of 9:1, then left in a pot in the sun for several months, and stirred occasionally.
3. For each half liter of fish a whole liter of old wine is added.
4. The ‘fast and cheap’ garum is the recipe which is found below: brine and fish go in an earthenware pot with oregano. This is brought to the boil, and then strained after cooling until the liquid is clear. The garum in the bottle you see in the picture on the left is made like this.
5. The very best garum, according to the Geoponica, is called haimatum. It was made with solely the innards of the tuna, including blood and gills. These are put in a pot with salt, and after two months the liquid is garum.
didn't making Garum involve the liquid dripping into the container?
I read up a few months ago, but the experiment was vetoed ;-)
yeah, thats gonna be a vetoe from me as well. 😄

but i read that fish guts was essential to this, so i may throw in some for good measure. it's coming along quite nicely. its already half full of its own liquid in just a few hours. smells like canned anchovy..