Garum @ Campania

The ancient salted substitute, namely garum enters my mind after visiting the city of Pompeii and the temples of Paestum today. Garum is a historical name for a fermented fish sauce prepared from the intestines of small fish through the process of a bacterial fermentation. It is said to be 5th century Before Christ, a greco preparation, fishermen would lay out their catch according to the type and part of the fish, allowing makers to pick the exact ingredients they wanted.


The fish parts were then soaked and macerated in salt, and cured in the sun for one to three months. The mixture fermented and liquified in the dry warmth, with the salt inhibiting over decay. The garum was transformed into clear liquid that formed on the top. Used in place of salt, it is still common is some parts of  japan, where “kusaya”, salted-dried fish is fermented, it stinks like hell but is healthy to eat and many enjoy it.

For those of you that are keen to know more about fermentation check the site of Sandor Katz, a specialist who devoted his like to fermenting:

I will be posting more experiments on fermenting this winter once I get to Tokyo.

Garum’s History: