The lifestyle of ancient Romans is one of my biggest passions. For however long I continue Tumblr’ing, I will explain why, at a probable rate of once every six months.
Reason #1: Garum.
Garum was as good as ketchup to the Romans. They put it on everything. Romans were big on spicy dishes, and this sauce turned even the blandest piles of half-rotted meat into Tangfest 2020.
And what was garum made from?
Fermented fish guts.
They’d leave fishy entrails out to basically putrefy, and when the process was over, those entrails would become piles of fish slime. The “clean” oil skimmed from this ooze was proper garum, and the Romans were crazy for it.
Garum production was a smelly affair; in fact, the stuff caused such a stink that it was typically illegal to produce in cities. You had to take that shit outside and lug it into town, usually within amphorae, which were clay jugs Romans used for all sorts of foodstuffs.
(Actually, they plowed through so many of those jugs that there was a literal mountain of used amphorae in Rome, called Monte Testaccio. This was where broken amphorae, or jugs ruined from old olive oil, went to die.)
As unappealing as a sauce made from fish intestines sounds, every time I think about garum, I get hungry.
I think it’s the name. “Garum.” It sounds so inoffensive, and it’s such a great name for a sauce.
It’d also be a great name for a top villain’s main goon. The guy sent to beat the oppressed townspeople into paying their taxes. Don’t tell me you can’t see it.
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