Home Features History Letters from Spain New Arrivals Profiles Recipes Sightseeing Vocabulary Weather

Go back in time with ‘Garum’

Garum was a fermented fish sauce used in quantity by the Romans. Liquamen was similar and sometimes the two were interchanged.

Many chefs have tried to recreate Garum and bottles have been spotted in New York, but here in Spain Cádiz and Sevilla Universities have teamed up with local chef Mauro Barreiro, to research an authentic Garum.

The two professors and archaeologists are Dario Bernal in Cádiz University and Enrique García Vargas in Sevilla University.
After two years of research they discovered that Garum was not just a sauce, but a careful mix of fish salt and spices.

One of the most famous in Roman times was in Cádiz where the excellence of the fish tied in with the tradition of the salted industry.

The team now had a recipe but the challenge was to produce the Garum, and this has fallen over the last few months to the Department of Technology of Foodstuffs in Cádiz University and Professor Victor Palacios.


He told El País that the process was simple and complicated at the same time, with the many problems of fermentation and putrefaction which we have had to correct with salt.

Now the team’s Garum is ready, the investigators Álvaro García and Josefina Sánchez have been given the job of producing the sauce for sale, establishing enough Garum to meet the demands of chefs and the curious. The promotion campaign will be easy, sufficient to say that a taste from 2000 years ago has been brought forward to today.

Mauro Barriero already has some dishes with Barum on his menu at the Real 210 Gastro in Puerto Real.

and this video shows Heston Blumenthal making a Garum Sauce