Colatura di Alici: Italian Patis

Posted by JMom | Tuesday, October 21, 2008 | , | 0 comments »

Italian PatisMy sister brought this small bottle of Colatura di Alici for me when she went to Italy. Did you know that early Romans made a fish sauce called Garum, made by fermenting fish such as anchovies, tuna or mackerell resulting in this amber liquid. This is how it is made in the Philippines too, we call this Patis, commonly known as fish sauce.

Is there are difference between this colatura and patis other than it costs ten times more? Not much, really. They both have a salty taste and a slightly briny aroma. Actually, this colatura is just slightly more fishy smelling than patis. Hard to believe if you've ever smelled patis. It is definitely an acquired taste if you're not used to it. Me, I use it for everything. My husband swears I've slowly poisoned him with patis. He didn't use to eat fish before he met me. He does now.

How to use it? I use it in anything that needs fish sauce. I even use it as a dipping sauce, cut with a spritz of lemon. On pastas, just drip a couple of drops just before finishing and you essentially knock the flavors up a notch. Try it next time you make linguini with clam sauce or shrimps with alfredo sauce and you'll love it. Try it also on fresh, vine ripened tomatoes; sliced sprinkled with a few drops of fish sauce and a few turns from the pepper cracker and you'll be in heaven.

Try it. You'll like it :)

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