I remember the fascination when I first read about the romans revered the garum. This of the gods the nectar which was able to make all the food is good, desserts, shinty stick was singed in all the keys and could be properly expensive – despite the fact that it was made of fermented fiskinälvor and salt.
Exactly where I acquired this I have forgotten, but the most fascinating was not how this outlandish decoction could have tasted, but the claim that no one today really knew. Because garum was something that through the centuries had completely disappeared from the tradition.
When I later began to interest me for the asian food was once some thresholds that every beginner needed to step over. As the coriander, bladkryddan whose peculiar aroma evokes such strong reactions that many are refusing all the food where it is included. Or chili, where the perception of what is just strong, so clear depends on the degree of habituation.
Both of these were used extensively by the ancient romans.
However, the main watershed was the fish sauce, without which one can barely cook thai or vietnamese food. Whose preparation consists of fish and salt that is allowed to ferment in the sun, with a most noticeable aroma that results.
For buffs is fish sauce good as is, but the most remarkable fisksåsen is how it does not take over all food where it is added, but rather reaches in and fills out everything else. A bit like soy sauce or a stock cube, though more subtly.
eventually I also saw someone compare asian fish sauce with garum and it seemed so obvious that I since wanted to believe that I did the clutch itself.
however, What I was not prepared for was that garum does not at all have disappeared from the Italian tradition, but on the contrary can be bought in a bottle, and in Stockholm, sometimes. Though it is called when the colatura di alici and is a specialty from the tiny Cetara, south of Naples. Alici means anchovies, colatura a kind of essence.
the Bottle is sleek like a perfume bottle and round the neck hangs a tiny pappersflik with the easiest recipe. You stir their expensive drops with parsley, garlic, chili and olive oil and mix with spaghetti cooked without salt, it is important.
In all simplicity, it is fantastically good, the lavishly rich and very salty. And strikingly similar to another favorite recipe I already had, where instead of colatura di alici use a whole jar anchovise.