Garum Sauce: Ancient Rome’s ‘Ketchup’ Becomes a Modern-Day Secret Ingredient

An article by Olga Oksman posted on theguardian.com
Wednesday 26 August 2015

Garum Sauce: Ancient Rome's 'Ketchup' Becomes a Modern-Day Secret Ingredient

Garum and other similar fish-based sauces were the ketchup of the ancient world, mass produced in factories by the Romans, and sprinkled on anything savory. They usually made several versions: a dark-colored table condiment that was high in protein, a cooking sauce similar to Thai and Vietnamese fish sauces (sometimes called liquamen by historians, though often grouped together with garum), and a milder version called muria, explains food historian Sally Grainger. The fall of the Roman empire meant the end of its mass production, but the art of the fish sauce was not lost in Italy. The modern-day version, colatura di alici, is a saltier mixture of all three sauces.

Garum Sauce: Ancient Rome's 'Ketchup' Becomes a Modern-Day Secret Ingredient

While Italy may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking of fish sauce, several companies on the Amalfi coast continue the ancient traditions. Today’s colatura is a clear, amber liquid made from Garum Sauce: Ancient Rome's 'Ketchup' Becomes a Modern-Day Secret Ingredientfermented, salted anchovies and sold in tiny, elegant glass bottles. It is often described as the great-grandfather of Worcestershire sauce. “There is only a difference of a few ingredients, but colatura tastes better,” Grace Singleton, managing partner at Zingerman’s Delicatessen, tells me.

Zingerman’s, based in Michigan, started carrying the condiment around 15 years ago, when co-founding partner Ari Weinzweig found himself in the Amalfi coast town of Cetara, where it has been made for generations. After tasting it for the first time, Weinzweig knew he had to carry it in his store. It took a year to get all the labelling right for US importation, but it was worth it. Since then, the sauce has had a steady following, Weinzweig tells me.

Everyone who has tried it remembers the exact moment when colatura di alici and taste buds first met. For Matt Armendariz, who runs the food blog Matt Bites, it was in Italy, in an aioli sauce. “My mind was blown. It had this umami flavor and I asked the chef why it was so delicious, and he said he used colatura di alici. I just fell in love with it,” Armendariz fondly recalls.

Garum jugs from PompeiiThe amber sauce, which is fermented traditionally in chestnut barrels, is an inexpensive way to add depth and flavor to dishes, says Singleton. A little glass bottle will set you back on average $15, but you only need a sprinkling to bring a new dimension to food.

It is also the key to a quick and simple pasta dish popular in the Amalfi coast. Any kind of long, thin pasta is mixed with garlic, chili-infused olive oil and a little colatura di alici for an unmistakable savory rich flavor that belies its simple ingredients. Armendariz recommends sprinkling it on ripe tomatoes or putting a few drops on grilled steaks and other meats to make the flavor pop. Singleton favors using it in place of salt in dishes, since it does double duty by both salting a dish and accentuating its flavors.

Despite its fishy origins, don’t think of it as a fish sauce, says Armendariz, who refers to the flavor enhancer as a “genie in a bottle” on his blog. It’s a true secret ingredient for the modern age, taken straight out of the ancient world.


In context

Roman Garum was a fermented fish sauce used as a condiment in the cuisines of ancient Greece, Rome, and Byzantium. Liquamen was a similar preparation, and at times the two were synonymous. Although it enjoyed its greatest popularity in the Roman world, the sauce was earlier used by the Greeks.

When mixed with wine (oenogarum, a popular Byzantine sauce), vinegar, black pepper, or oil, garum enhances the flavor of a wide variety of dishes, including boiled veal and steamed mussels, even pear-and-honey soufflé. Diluted with water (hydrogarum) it was distributed to Roman legions. Pliny (d. 79) remarked in his Natural History that it could be diluted to the colour of honey wine and drunk.

You might have noticed that Liquamen was listed among the
ingredients on my Medieval Monday post a few days ago.
You can find old recipes for Garum here

http://www.coquinaria.nl/english/recipes/garum.htm

and here

http://www.pompeii-food-and-drink.org/garum.htm

Ted

Shrimp Curry / Rekekarri

A dinner recipe found in “Cooking for a Man”
published by House of Heublein in 1953
Shrimp Curry / Rekekarri

Since it is my birthday today I thought it only right to post one of my
favourite dishes. I love curry and I love shellfish. And I even found
that recipe in a book that was published the year I was born. So now
those of you with a head for numbers can find out how old I am

Ted
Winking smile

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Basic Homemade Country Mustard / Grunnleggende Hjemmelaget Landsens Sennep

An easy condiment recipw found on homecooking.about.com
Basic Homemade Country Mustard / Grunnleggende Hjemmelaget Landsens Sennep

Mustard is one of those condiments that comes in many flavors, textures, and varieties. While most Americans are all too familiar with the smooth, bright yellow store-bought varieties, it would be a shame not to experience the more complex flavors of homemade varieties. If you’re new to mustard-making, this recipe is a great place to start. This basic country mustard is a pungent, grainy, all-purpose mustard that uses both coarsely ground mustard seeds and mustard powder.

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Bacon Butter / Baconsmør

A delicious and different butter recipe found at soendag.dk
Bacon Butter / Baconsmør

A delicious and different butter for both your buns, potatoes or pasta.

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Orange Syrup / Appelsinsirup

A delicious sweetener recipe found on madogbolig.dk
Orange Syrup / Appelsinsirup

Make your own thick orange syrup, and treat friends and family to the most delicious syrup for pancakes or ice cream.

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Rum Butter / Romsmør

A twist on a traditional condiment found on
goodhousekeeping.co.uk
Rum Butter / Romsmør

A twist on the traditional brandy butter.

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1700s Mushroom Ketchup / 1700talls Soppketchup

An exiting recipe found onWorld Turn’d Upside Down
a blog you would not want to miss if you are at
all interested in historic recipes

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Stephanie Ann Farra who runs ‘World Turn’d Upside Down‘ writes: Mushroom ketchup was something I’ve been wanting to make for a long time. I love the fact that this was a common sauce so different from the ketchup we use today. In the early 1700s, ketchup was introduced to English explorers by the people of Singapore and Malaysia. Originally a sauce for fish, ketchup was made out of walnuts, oysters or mushrooms and was similar to soy sauce. The English expanded the use of the sauce and it became popular for fish and meat dishes.

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The History of Condiments

condiments_01Since ancient times people have used condiments to enhance their food. The first condiment was salt. Salt has always been used both as a preservative and to enhance the flavor of food. Vinegar has also been used since ancient times. Its name is probably derived from the French words vin aiger meaning sour wine. (Vinegar was used as a medicine as well as a food).

The Romans liked condiments and they made many sauces for their food. One of the most common was a fish sauce called liquamen. The Romans also grew mustard and they introduced it into the parts of Europe they conquered. They also made mint sauce.

condiments_02In the Middle Ages mustard was a popular condiment in Europe. At first English mustard consisted of coarse powder and it was not very strong. However in 1720 a Mrs Clements of Durham began making a much smoother mustard powder. When mixed with water to make paste it was very hot but it proved to be popular and Durham became a center of the mustard industry. (For centuries mustard was used as a medicine as well as a food).

In the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries new condiments were invented. Pesto sauce was invented in 16th century Italy. Furthermore new sauces were invented in the 17th century including bechamel and chasseur. Chutney comes from India. It was first exported to England in the 17th century. Soy sauce, which was invented in China reached Europe in the 17th century and by the mid-18th century it was popular in Britain.

condiments_03According to one story a French chef first made mayonnaise in 1756. However there are many stories about where it comes from. Hollandaise sauce was also first recorded in the mid-18th century. Ketchup began life as a Chinese fish sauce called ke-tsiap. The name was gradually changed to ketchup and in Britain people added other ingredients instead of fish. In the 18th century they began adding tomatoes. Sauces similar to tartar sauce were made in the Middle Ages but ‘modern’ tartar sauce was first made in the 1800s

condiments_04In the 19th century with the Industrial Revolution condiments began to be mass-produced in factories. Tomato ketchup was a best seller and HP sauce was invented at the end of the 19th century. Meanwhile Worcester sauce was invented in Worcester in 1835 by John Lea and William Perrins. Horseradish sauce went on sale in bottles in the USA around 1860. Salad cream was invented in 1914.

As well as sauces people have also looked for ways to sweeten their food. Since the time of the Ancient Egyptians and probably before people have kept bees for honey. Over condiments_05the centuries honey was very valuable and it was sometimes used as a currency or it was given as a tribute to a conqueror. Since ancient times people have also made an alcoholic drink called mead from honey.

Sugar cane first grew in South Asia. Later the Arabs and Europeans grew sugar cane. At the end of the 15th century sugar cane was taken to the New World. Sugar was first made from sugar beet in the 18th century. A German chemist called Andreas Marggraf was the first person to make sugar from beet in 1747. Saccharine was invented in 1879 by Constantine Fahlberg.

Text from localhistories.org

Traditional Alaskan Simple Rose Hip Syrup / Tradisjonell Enkel Nypesirup fra Alaska

A traditional recipe for a delicious syrup found on homecooking.about.com 
Traditional Alaskan Rose Hip Simple Syrup_homecooking.about_post

nyperRose hips, also sometimes spelled as one word rosehips, are the golf-ball sized red fruit of a variety of rose bush that is native to Alaska among other places. Rosehips are a part of the same fruit family as apples and impart a warm, floral, and fruity flavor. Rose hip syrup is a particularly versatile way to use rosehips in the kitchen.

The sweet syrup can be used on pancakes, porridge, or oatmeal in place of the traditional maple syrup. The syrup can also be used as a sweet, floral ingredient in mixed cocktails. And, of course, nothing is better than rose hip syrup drizzled on ice cream, bread pudding, or other desserts – even just plain yoghurt!

Here in Scandinavia we also use rose hips to make a dessert soup served hot or cold depending on the season. The soup is usually served with a dollop sweetened wipped cream. Powdered dried rose hips are also infused in hot water and drunk like you would tea around here – Ted

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The History of Hot Dogs

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To most of us, hot dogs are intrinsically linked with the USA and baseball, but as with many foods, where they end up being the most popular doesn’t necessarily prove their origins.

What is a Hot Dog?

hotdog_03In most parts of the world, the term “hot dog” refers to a cooked, smoled, or cured sausage served in 0a soft long roll with or without relishes. The type of sausage is of some importance in order to call what you’re eating a  “hot dog”.  They are usually frankfurters, also known as Franks, Wieners, Weenies, Dachshunds, Wiener Würstchen, or Frankfurter Würstel.  Also, the bread in which the frankfurter is sold should be a long roll so that the sausage is (mostly) encased in the bread.

Now, some may disagree with the above definition, preferring to refer to just the sausage as a hot dog, however if that were the case then certainly, they were not invented in the USA .

hotdog_06Although the Frankfurter is thought to get its name from Frankfurt in Germany, there are also claims that the sausage known as a “dachshund” or “little-dog” was created in the late 1600’s by Johann Georghehner in Coburg, Germany. However, Frankfurt defends their claim, so much so that in 1987 its  500th birthday was celebrated in Frankfurt.

To muddy the waters even further, Vienna (Wien) in Austria also lays claim to the invention,  using the term “wiener” to prove Vienna as the birthplace of the sausage.

Who Invented the Hot Dog

hotdog_02Assuming our definition of what a hot dog is is accepted, the term “hot dog” was first coined in 1901 at the New York Polo Grounds. The story goes that on a cold day in April,  a man called Harry Stevens was losing money trying to sell ice cream and ice cold soda so he sent his staff out to buy  all the dachshund sausages they could find, together with an equal number of rolls and began selling them  from hotdog_05portable hot water tanks with the hawkers attracting customers by shouting  “Get your dachshund sausages while they’re red hot!”

A sports cartoonist called Tad Dorgan upon hearing the sellers,  drew a cartoon of dachschund sausages in rolls barking like dogs and as he wasn’t sure of the spelling of “dachshund” he just put in the caption “hot dog!”  The cartoon was a hit and the term “hot dog” was born.

hotdog_07The hot dog in a long bun as it is today,  is attributed to a Bavarian concessionaire, Anton Feuchtwanger who introduced it   in 1904 during the St. Louis “Louisiana Purchase Exposition”.  The story goes that he initially loaned white gloves to his customers to hold his hot sausages however, when most of the gloves weren’t returned,  his brother-in-law who was a baker,  made up long soft rolls to hold the sausages.

So, depending on your definition of what a hot dog is, it’s either definitely American or of indeterminate origin.

How to Make ‘Sun-Dried’ Tomatoes…in the Oven! / Hvordan Lage ‘Soltørkede’ Tomater… i Ovnen!

A great ’how to’ recipe found on about.com/food/How to Make 'Sun-Dried' Tomatoes...in the Oven!_italianfood.about_post

Drying is a traditional Italian way to preserve an abundance of ripe summer tomatoes so that they can be enjoyed throughout the rest of the year, particularly in the southern Italian regions of Calabria and Puglia.

The store-bought sun-dried tomatoes I had tasted were a bit leathery and tough, with not much flavor. They seemed like a faded, desiccated memory of a tomato, rather than a fragrant, intensified taste of summer days. Homemade sun-dried tomatoes are another thing entirely: fragrant and chewy but not tough, with complex, concentrated tomato flavor and a slight sweetness.

Although it’s not difficult, the trouble with making them at home is that many of us do not have the abundant outdoor space required, or the time, or perhaps we lack consistent, strong sunshine, or live in highly polluted cities or bug-infested areas where perhaps drying food outdoors is not the best idea.

The solution? You can easily dry them in your oven.

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A Short History of Worcestershire Sauce

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Worcestershire sauce has its roots in India, but was actually created by accident in its namesake town of Worcester, England in 1835. As the story goes, Lord Marcus Sandy had returned home to England to retire after successfully governing Bengal, India for many years. He so worcestershire_sauce_03missed his favorite Indian sauce that he commissioned drug store owners John Lea and William Perrins to come up with a reasonable facsimile.

The original intent of the chemists was to keep some of the batch to sell in the store, but the fish and vegetable mixture had such a strong odor that they decided otherwise and stored it in the cellar. It lay forgotten for two years, until it was rediscovered during a clean-up mission. The batch had aged into a wonderfully flavored sauce which was bottled and quickly became a hot item with customers.

worcestershire_sauce_01Lea and Perrins successfully branched out by convincing stewards on British passenger ships to include it on their dining table set-ups.

It soon became a British staple, primarily as a steak sauce, and further emigrated worldwide. The guarded recipe basically remains the same. However, the advertising no longer purports to “make your hair grow beautiful.”

Text from about.com

Austrian Kaiser-Smarrn / Østerrikske Kaiser-Smarrn

A classic dessert recipe found in
“God Mat Fra Hele Verden” (Nice Food From All Over the World)
published  by Schibsted in 1971
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traditional badge dessert_flatSchmarrn, a sort of finer pancakes, is known not only in Austria but also in Southern Germany and Bohemia.The name Kaiser schmarrn would presumably allude that this recipe is extra fine and therefore meriting an extra fine name.

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Ketchup History

Ketchup is America’s favorite condiment, being found in 97 percent of kitchens. Studies show tomato ketchup can also be a powerful tool in the fight against cancer and heart disease. You might be surprised to learn that ketchup is not limited to plain tomato varieties.

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The word ketchup is derived from the Chinese ke-tsiap, a pickled fish sauce. It made its way to Malaysia where it became kechap and ketjap in Indonesia.

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00_ketchup_05Seventeenth century English sailors first discovered the delights of this Chinese condiment and brought it west. Ketchup was first mentioned in print around 1690.

The Chinese version is actually more akin to a soy or Worcestershire sauce. It gradually went through various changes, particularly with the addition of tomatoes in the 1700s.

By the nineteenth century, ketchup was also known as tomato soy.

00_ketchup_06Early tomato versions were much thinner with a consistency more like a soy or Worcestershire sauce.

F. & J. Heinz Company began selling tomato ketchup in 1876. By the end of the nineteenth century, tomato ketchup was the primary type of ketchup in the United States, and, the descriptor of tomato was gradually dropped.

Catsup and catchup are acceptable spellings used interchangably with ketchup, however,ketchup is the way you will find it listed in the majority of cookbooks.

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Text from http://homecooking.about.com/

Frankfurters in Lager with Two Nice Accessories / Pølser i Pilsner med To Gode Tilbehør

A few nice recipes from a folder published by Gilde697_pølser i pilsner med to gode tilbehør_intro

Norwegians eat frankfurteres and weiners like there is no tomorrow. Usually we just slap them in a bun and put some ketchup and mustard on them. Here’s a recipe with a bit more panache – Ted

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