Garum, a Roman sauce
The Roman republican and imperial age - or from the II / I sec. B.C. - was very influenced by the Greek tradition also in the use of "garum" (for the Greeks "garon").
It was the famous fish sauce that Apicius in his famous recipe book, remained the only Roman cooking manual that came to us , proposes as an indispensable completion of almost all the recipes presented.
Maratea. A Garum factory?
During archaeological excavations carried out at Maratea, Roman artifacts have been found that reflect on the ways of preparing and preserving this famous ingredient of ancient Roman cooking.
Such artifacts, for example on the island of Santo Janni, make Maratea think of one of the most important production centers of this food of the entire Tyrrhenian coast.
What's the "garum"?
To do this, alternate layers of blue fish (mackerel, sardines, etc.) and layers of herbs (chestnut, dill, mint, etc.) with the addition on each layer of salt and putting everything under pressure.
Over the course of a few days, a liquid of light brown color is collected on the bottom, which is stored for a very long time and lends itself to all kinds of dishes.
The conservation characteristics of the "garum" made it ideal for the long shipments that Maratea by sea transported on the boards of Rome.
From the olfactory point of view, "garum" is a delicate flavorful sauce, to be used in very small quantities, drops, also as a salt substitute.
For some, Garum was similar to anchovy sauce, for others worcester sauce; For others the flavor comes close to the "nuocnam" a sauce normally used on almost all dishes in Vietnamese cuisines.