[Sca-cooks] alec sauce

Sandra J. Kisner sjk3 at cornell.edu
Thu Aug 23 09:45:02 PDT 2012

Many thanks to Bear and Mairi; I've forwarded these on.  I'm sure she'll gratefully accept anything else you wonderful knowledgeable people can come up with.


-----Original Message-----
From: sca-cooks-bounces at lists.ansteorra.org [mailto:sca-cooks-bounces at lists.ansteorra.org] On Behalf Of Terry Decker
Sent: Thursday, August 23, 2012 12:42 PM
To: Cooks within the SCA
Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] alec sauce

Just a few quotes from a source that provides more than you ever want to know about Greek and Roman fish sauce.


Curtis, Robert L., Garum and Salsamenta, Production and Commerce in Materia Medica; E.J. Brill, New York, 1991.

"...while allec (Pl. 1b), the sediment created in making garum, was of 
secondary importance."    (pg. 7)  Pl = Patrologia Cursus Completus, Series 

"Pliny HN 31.95.  The dregs (faex) of garum was variously spelled allec ((Hor. Sat. 2.8.9), hallec (Plaut. Aut. fr. 5), allex (Pliny HN. 31.95), and hallex (Plaut. Poen. 2320; Cato Agr. 58).  The latter form is found most often in painted inscriptionsw on commercial amphorae."  (pg. 7 n.)

"allec, the residue {of garum}, was no doubt a mushy, paste-like substance containing fishbones and other undissolved fish material."  (pg. 14)

"Pliny (HN 9.66) reports that Apicius made an allec from only the livers of red mullet."  (pg 14 n.)

{In Pompeii, in a house of unidentified ownership} "Five of the six dolia in the peristyle, which had been converted to industrial use, contained the dried remains of allec (Pl. 1b).  The desiccat material included small lateral bones, vertebrae, and scales of anchovy (E#ngraulis encrasicholus)." 
(pg. 93-94)

"Pliny (HN31.95) says allex was made from an infinite variety of fish, while Isidore (Orig. 20.20.19-20) says the same thing of garum."  (pg 164 n.)

"Allex, like the Philippine bagoong, was the residue of fish sauce production, derived from the near total autolysis of fish material.  But, if the fermentation process is curtailed well before autolysis has reached completion, the result is a paste.  Allex, therefore, is an ancient fish paste."  {from a longer discussion of production techniques}  (pg 177)

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