Ancient sauce fermented for workshop guests
BALIKESİR – DHA
The ancient city of Antandros in the western province of Balıkesir’s Edremit district, where excavations have been continuing for 16 years, will open to the world with a project titled “The Route of Aeneas,” which follows the route of the Trojan hero Aeneas from Antandros to Italy. The route, expected to pass through five countries, has been planned.
The international project, backed by the European Union, is expected to become a tourist hotspot in the region.
The “garum sauce,” a fish-based sauce of the ancient world used instead of salt, has been now prepared and is kept in a jug. The sauce will be served with dishes at the international workshop in May.
The workshop will be attended by 22 mayors from Turkey, Greece, Tunisia, Albania and Italy, Edremit Mayor Kamil Saka has said.
“We fermented the garum sauce in a Roman villa in Antandros. It is known that the garum sauce was a very important spice in the past. The priority for Edremit is to open to the world. I believe this fermentation will help revive foreign tourism in Edremit.”
Erhan Şeker, one of the gourmets who prepared the sauce, said the sauce was made with salt, fish and some spices.
“Similar sauces like this are still used in the Far East and many other countries in the world. Fish and their inner organs are used when making the sauce. The ingredients vary in every region. Small or big fishes are used in the sauce depending on the region. Fish is mixed with salt under the sun, and then water and wine are added. It is served with all types of dishes including desserts, red meat, chicken and fish dishes,” Şeker said.
Mentioned in ancient documents
Nurdan Çakır Tezgin, a cook nicknamed “Cook Seal,” said that in order to study the ancient city, you had to start with the garum sauce.
“It was used in every meal since antiquity, in meat, fish and chicken. It is mentioned in ancient resources as an essential sauce used instead of salt. Here, we revived this sauce in the excavation field in Antandros,” she said.
The head of the Antandros Rescue and Protection Association, Zekiye Gülçin Cömert, said the fermentation process of the garum sauce would be relatively slower under the winter sun. “We expect that it will be ready in spring,” she added.