29 March 2009

Rotting fish innards ...

Garum. That wonderful concoction of rotting fish guts that ancient Romans of all social ranks loved. Sounds awful, but basically it was Vietnamese fish sauce, Nucmam, which is actually quite tastey.

There is a TV show in Britain that attempts to recreate ancient and medieval foods. Here is the Times Online's review of it, and here is what the review has to say about nucmam, er, garum.
He did rather well with the Roman staple of garum -- their favourite sauce made out of rotten fish which, Hestons_roman_feast_gallery_08gt_fu
as Heston pointed out, they seem to have smeared over most things. It is this that usually defeats undergraduate Roman dinner parties (anchovy paste doesn't quite get it). But even if Heston didnt have the patience to rot his fish for the three months that the Romans did, he did manage to heat up and blend together a load of mackerel intestines, so that they ended looking rather like a Thai sauce and was (so Heston insisted) really 'delicious'.

And then there is the roast pig with the faux guts falling out of it to disgust the guests - funny people those Romani.

in at least one brach of the Clemens clan nucmam is a staple.

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At 29 March, 2009 22:15, Anonymous Maire said...

Mmmm. Nuc Mom. Ambrosia.

Tasty AND it can be used to date volcanic eruptions. How can you go wrong?

At 30 March, 2009 22:42, Blogger Clemens said...

Isn't there money in the stimulus bill for dating volcanoes, or something. Bobby Jindle was against it.

Until Mt Redoubt blew up scattering ash (and probably fish innards) all over Alaska.

At 02 April, 2009 09:14, Anonymous The Old Man said...

If you want to see my comment about nuoc mam go to the next post back. I put it under the wrong blog item. I don't refer to myself as "the OLD man" for nothing.


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