Garum Recipe Patent
Definitely the most exciting recipe patent I've ever found … (likely due to my fixation with anything Roman) … a patented ancient recipe for making GARUM ‐ the Ketchup of Roman times (ES2155026):
- 100g fermented fish (50:50 tuna liver and mackerel chopped into 1‐5g pieces)
- 0.4‐0.6g citric acid (i.e. E330)
- 1‐2mg Butyl hydroxyanisole (i.e. E320 ‐ an antioxidant that prevents food from smelling rancid)
- 1‐2mg Butyl hydroxytoluene (i.e. E321 ‐ an antioxidant and preservative)
- 0.05‐0.5 Anson units Bacterial endoprotease (enzyme)
- 1.5g Natural spices (oregano, thyme and cilantro)
- 0.4‐2g Mix additives and condiments (i.e. 0.34‐1.36g monosodium glutamate, 0.002‐0.008g sodium inosinate, 0.003‐0.012g olive oil, 0.02‐0.08g garlic powder, 0.04‐0.16g onion powder, 0.001‐0.004g milled cumin, 0.009‐0.036g tumeric, 0.005‐0.020g milled bay laurel, 0.002‐0.008g paprika oleoresin, 0.007‐0.028g ground parsley, 0.009‐0.036g ground sweet paprika)
- 0.3‐3.6g / 100g Xanthan gum
- Top up with water until 100 ml volume
- Ferment the fish together with the citric acid, butyl hydroxyanisole, butyl hydroxytoluene, neutral bacterial endoprotease and half the salt, for 18‐36 hours at a temperature 30‐45 Celsius while stirring at 50‐150 rpm.
- Stop the fermentation and add the natural spices, additives and condiments, and the rest of the salt.
- Resume the fermentation for 18‐36 hours at a temperature of 30‐45 Celsius while stirring.
- Filter the mixture through a 1‐2mm mesh under vacuum.
- Dilute the filtrate with a solution of xanthan gum (up to 25%).
- Pasteurise the Garum by heating it to 80 Celsius for 10 minutes, which gives the Garum a refrigerated shelf life of at least 2 months.
Apparently, it is the natural MSG that is created in the process that made this sauce so addictive to the Romans. But in those days, fermentation took several months, as they had no endoprotease enzymes to help them along.
If you are not up to making your own garum, "similar sauces" are easily available: Nuoc‐mam, Nam‐pla, Budu and Patis. However, these sauces are thin without fat, whereas Garum is viscous with about 10% fat.
Original Garum recipes
From the Geoponika, a book written in the tenth century in Byzantine Constantinople:
- Add 1 part of salt to 8 parts of fish eggs and small fish entrails (e.g. mullet, sprats, anchovy)
- Beat into a pulp
- Allow to ferment in the sun for several months, beating occasionally
- Draw off the liquid and strain
- Mix with wine, vinegar, pepper, oil or water
From Gargilius Martialis' De medicina et de virtute herbarum (third century):
- Seal layers of fatty fish (e.g. sardines) separated by layers of dried aromatic herbs (e.g. dill, coriader, fennel, celery, mint, oregani) and a layer of salt two fingers high in a container
- Rest container in the sun for 7 days
- Mix the sauce daily for 20 days